“Given recent discussions with various authorities and privacy experts, we want to make clear that we will not limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works for those who have not yet accepted the update,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge. WhatsApp tells The Verge that this is the plan moving forward indefinitely.
The new policy has been a source of controversy for months
The rollout of the policy has been a confusing mess, and raised concerns that WhatsApp would begin sharing more of users’ personal data with Facebook. (Some WhatsApp user data, such as users’ phone numbers, is already shared with Facebook, a policy that went into place in 2016.) WhatsApp has stressed this is not the case, though — the policy update is regarding messages sent to businesses via WhatsApp, which may be stored on Facebook’s servers.
The majority of users who have seen the new policy have accepted, the company says in a support article. This article also notes that you’ll get reminded about the new policy if you haven’t accepted it, and that’s still the case now, WhatsApp said in its statement.
“We will continue to remind users from time to time and let them accept the update, including when they choose to use relevant optional features like communicating with a business that is receiving support from Facebook,” WhatsApp said. “We hope this approach reinforces the choice that all users have whether or not they want to interact with a business.”