WhatsApp will delete MILLIONS of accounts starting May 15 – is yours one of them?

WhatsApp details what's in store for users who don't accept the new privacy policy by May 15

WhatsApp Security
(Image credit: Getty)

WhatsApp users who don't agree to the new privacy policy are going to find themselves slowly cut off from the app's features and their accounts eventually deleted.

If you don't agree to the new privacy policy by the extended deadline of May 15, you'll still be able to receive calls and notifications, but the messaging functionality will no longer work. After a few weeks, your account will be rendered inactive, and deleted after 120 days. If that sounds like a nightmare, you can still accept the new WhatsApp privacy policy after May 15, export your chat history, or jump ship altogether to one of these WhatsApp alternatives.     

The WhatsApp furore first kicked off when the Facebook-owned messaging service announced that it would be up dating its privacy policy in order to improve functions for businesses, and allowing customers to engage and make payments via the app. There was some confusion around the update, with fears that WhatsApp would be harvesting more user data, and sharing it with Facebook.

If you're outside of the EU and UK, you won't be affected by this, while the regions where this is rolling out have already had the data sharing in effect for a while; it was just implemented on an opt-out basis, which is now becoming mandatory.

WhatsApp gave users the ultimatum to accept the updated policy by February 8, but saw a mass exodus to rival apps like Signal instead. Rather than backing down, it extended the deadline, and attempted to clarify the situation with in-app status messages. The latest WhatsApp beta suggests the service is going to continue this strategy, with a new Terms of Service Alert that'll attempt to assuage user concerns and make the new policy in terms that are easier to understand. 

A new WhatsApp FAQ has popped up on the website to add further details about what's happening after May 15, so be sure to familiarise yourself with everything before you decide to move on to another app or not.  

Source: TechCrunch

Shabana Arif

Shabana worked at T3.com as News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). She's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down here at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies. If you have any tech or gaming tips, shoot over an email or DM her on social media.