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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Whatsapp: those who do not accept the new privacy rules will not be able to read or send messages

An email sent by the Menlo Park group specifies what will happen to those who do not accept the new rules coming from May 15th

After postponing the entry into force of the new privacy rules that have caused the loss of millions of users to May 15 , Whatsapp has spent the last few weeks reassuring its users about the new rules. The crux of the matter is the sharing of data between Whatsapp and Facebook : the pop-up message that appeared to the 2 billion subscribers of the application at the beginning of the year was confused and caused criticism from many users.

We know that the social network has been drawing information from the app since 2016 , including the phone number (unless you are one of the lucky few who were quick to turn off information sharing when the option was still available in the course of that year). But it is equally certain that the app is not able to read messages in chat or listen to our phone calls , protected by end-to-end encryption that makes us safe from any possible abuse: therefore Facebook has no way to access. to our chats to use them for advertising purposes. The only novelty this year is the request for consent for the possibility of being contacted by companies using Whatsapp Business – and therefore have a way to interface fan databases between Facebook and Whatsapp, mixing data storage on a single server.

The only problem: more than a request it is an obligation, a formal acceptance of the novelty. What will happen to those who do not accept the new conditions? The answer was leaked in an e-mail sent by Whatsapp to some commercial partners in which the Menlo Park group confirmed its intention to apply the conditions “albeit gradually”. Attached to this email was the new FAQ page for the messaging app specifying that ” Whatsapp will not delete your accountif you do not accept the new rules by May 15th. However, if you do not confirm that you adhere to the new regulation you may not have the full functionality of the application. This means that for a short time you will be able to continue receiving calls and notifications but you will not be able to read or send messages in chat »writes the app in the replies page.

As for the duration of that “short period”, the answer is simple: anyone who does not accept the regulation by May 15 will be considered an inactive user and, as such, will have 120 additional days before being eliminated . “To maintain security, limit data retention and protect the privacy of our users, WhatsApp accounts are generally deleted after 120 days of inactivity. Content stored locally on a user’s device prior to account deletion will not be deleted until the app is deleted from the smartphone. If you then decide to register again with the same device, the stored contents will reappear »writes Whatsapp.

When we get close to May 15th, the app will start reminding us to review and accept the new rules in order to continue using Whatsapp correctly. Over the next few months, the app will insert a banner to provide more information on the new operation and why Facebook needs to be involved for the inventory and customer service of the companies involved. In short, a sort of disclaimer that calls for caution: Facebook will not put its nose in our chats but it is necessary for the Business component that helps Whatsapp to remain free. More than a request, it is an obligation or a simple acknowledgment of a novelty. On the other hand, we know it well: if we do not pay for an app or a service we must not forget that we are using our data to have it for free.

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