WhatsApp refused to restrict features for users who did not accept new privacy rules

After discussing the new privacy rules with governments and security experts, WhatsApp has decided not to restrict the functionality of the messenger for users, the company said in a statement published by TheNextWeb.

The new WhatsApp rules went into effect on May 15th. Prior to the adoption of the terms, the company promised to gradually limit access to features for users. Users who do not accept the new privacy policy at all will not be able to continue using the messenger, the company said in January. The new approach has caused a wave of criticism around the world.

The company has now announced that after talking with government officials and privacy advocates, it will not restrict features, even if users have not yet adopted the new policy.

“Given the recent discussions with various authorities and privacy experts, we want to make it clear that we currently have no plans to limit the functionality of WhatsApp for those who have not yet accepted the update. Instead, we will continue to remind users from time to time to update, as well as when people choose to use additional features, such as communicating with a company supported by Facebook, ”WhatsApp said in a statement published by TheNextWeb.

On its updated support page, WhatsApp writes that it does not plan to make reminders permanent. Engadget expects new policy notifications to appear from time to time and not so often as to cause inconvenience to users.

In the future, WhatsApp’s approach may change, but now the company is trying to maintain its user and government base around the world, writes TheNextWeb. After the first introduction of the new rules in January, many users began to switch to other platforms – in particular, Telegram and Signal.

The main criticism from users of the new WhatsApp rules was forcing them to agree to share large amounts of personal data with Facebook. However, the company clarified that in reality, the new rules will only affect business accounts, and for most other users, nothing will change.

Among the restrictions that WhatsApp previously promised to introduce is the inability for users to make calls and write messages first, and a few weeks after that – a complete blocking with preservation of accounts to be able to return after the adoption of the new rules.

WhatsApp’s new privacy rules do not comply with ethical requirements and Russian laws, Anton Gorelkin, a member of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications, said on May 15. “They recruited users on the same terms, and now they have put everyone in front of the fact that the conditions will be different, or lose their accounts,” he told TASS.

Gorelkin also referred to the law that regulates the transfer of personal data. He noted that the information operator is obliged to request permission from the user to transfer information about him to third parties. WhatsApp formally complies with the condition, but it does so in an ultimatum, depriving the user of the choice, Gorelkin said.

India last week asked WhatsApp to withdraw its privacy policy. The country’s authorities have sent a notification to WhatsApp that the new rules violate the laws of the country. On May 11, the German authorities banned WhatsApp from processing user data of residents of the country. In response, Facebook, which owns the messenger, said it would appeal the ban. The company was also forced to postpone the upgrade in Turkey.