A WhatsApp spokesperson told PTI that no accounts will be deleted on May 15 for not accepting the policy update.
“No accounts will be deleted on May 15 as a result of this update and no one in India will lose functionality of WhatsApp either. We will be able to follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks,” the spokesperson said in an emailed response to a query on Friday.
The spokesperson added that while a “majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them”, some people have not had the chance to take action yet.
On the other hand, the company did not clarify the reason in the back of the decision and did not divulge the number of users who have accepted the terms so far.
In January this year, WhatsApp had informed users approximately the changes in its terms of service and public policy through an in-app notification. Users were first of all provided time till February 8 to agree to the new terms with the intention to continue the use of the platform.
According to WhatsApp, the key updates include more information approximately its service and how it processes user data; how businesses can use Facebook hosted services and products to store and manage their WhatsApp chats; and how WhatsApp partners with Facebook to offer integrations across the company products.
On the other hand, user backlash over WhatsApp’s alleged sharing of user information with Facebook forced the company to put back the February deadline to May 15.
The WhatsApp spokesperson said the company has spent the previous couple of months working to “lucid up confusion and misinformation”.
“As a reminder, this update does not have an effect on the privacy of personal messages for anyone. Our goal is to supply information approximately new options we are building that people will have, to message a commerce on WhatsApp, someday,” the spokesperson said.
The company further stated that it’ll take each possibility to give an explanation for how it protects people”s personal messages and private information.
The softening of stance on the deadline comes at a time when digital platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp have change into lifelines for people on the lookout for oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, plasma donors and ventilators as the country reels under the lethal second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
India is the biggest market for WhatsApp, and the platform — as per government data — has 530 million users in the country.
India remains a critical market for Internet companies like Facebook with its large population base and burgeoning Internet adoption.
The country is the world’s second-largest telecom market and the biggest consumer of data.
Following the backlash faced by WhatsApp earlier this year, the popularity of rivals like Telegram and Sign surged as users thronged these platforms.
WhatsApp, previously, has said it is open to answering any questions from the government on the privacy issue and that it’ll continue to give an explanation for to users that their messages are end-to-end encrypted.
It had also sought to assuage user concerns through blog posts and tweets by its Global Head Will Cathcart and even full-page ads in leading dailies in India.
The full observation by a WhatsApp spokesperson will also be seen below in its entirety.
We’ve spent the previous couple of months working to lucid up confusion and misinformation. As a reminder this update does not have an effect on the privacy of personal messages for anyone.
Our goal is to supply information approximately new options we are building that people will have, to message a commerce on WhatsApp, someday. While the majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them, we appreciate some people haven’t had the chance to take action yet.No accounts will be deleted on May 15 as a result of this update and no one in India will lose functionality of WhatsApp either. We will be able to follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks.
We’re grateful for the important role WhatsApp plays in people’s lives and we’re going to take each possibility to give an explanation for how we offer protection to people’s personal messages and private information.