“No one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality of WhatsApp on May 15th because of this update,” the statement reads. WhatsApp has been displaying a notification about the updated policy to those who are yet to accept it for several weeks. The company says the reminder will become persistent for those who chose not to accept.
WhatsApp says users who still do not accept the persistent reminder will eventually have their functionality limited one at a time. When this happens:
- 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.
Users will be able to export their chat history on Android and iOS and also delete their accounts if they choose to. WhatsApp says it will not delete any account. WhatsApp’s policy on inactive accounts remains applicable which means accounts that have been dormant for a period of 120 days will automatically be deleted.