We reported 2 weeks ago on Facebook’s plans to force users to accept their new Terms of Service by steadily limiting the available features of the app.
Q: What happens on the effective date?
A: No one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality of WhatsApp on May 15th because of this update.
For the last several weeks we’ve displayed a notification in WhatsApp providing more information about the update. After giving everyone time to review, we’re continuing to remind those who haven’t had the chance to do so to review and accept. After a period of several weeks, the reminder people receive will eventually become persistent.
Q: What happens after I receive a persistent reminder?
A: At that time, you’ll encounter limited functionality on WhatsApp until you accept the updates. This will not happen to all users at the same time.
You won’t be able to access your chat list, but you can still answer incoming phone and video calls. If you have notifications enabled, you can tap on them to read or respond to a message or call back a missed phone or video call.
After a few weeks of limited functionality, you won’t be able to receive incoming calls or notifications and WhatsApp will stop sending messages and calls to your phone.
Now the Hindustani Times reports that WhatsApp has backed down somewhat under pressure from the Indian government, with the company saying:
“We have responded to the Government of India’s letter and assured them that the privacy of users remains our highest priority. As a reminder, the recent update does not change the privacy of people’s personal messages. Its purpose is to provide additional information about how people can interact with businesses if they choose to do so,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said, in a statement.
“We will not limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works in the coming weeks. Instead, we will continue to remind users about the update as well as when people choose to use relevant optional features, such as communicating with a business that is receiving support from Facebook,” the statement said.
“We hope this approach reinforces the choice that all users have whether or not they want to interact with a business. We will maintain this approach until at least the forthcoming PDP law comes into effect,” it added.
WhatsApp says the majority of users in India have already accepted the new Terms of Service, which may become illegal when the new PDP laws come into effect.