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WhatsApp will switch off messages for users who do not accept new terms of service

WhatsApp logo. Photo: File

WhatsApp will turn off the messages options for users who do not agree to its updated terms and service by May 15, according to TechCrunch.

The website said that users who do not accept the instant-messaging application’s updated terms and service by May 15 will not be able to either send or receive messages.

Accounts that are deactivated for a period of 120 days can be deleted, said the website.

As per the tech website, the app will continue to allow the user — who has yet to accept the new terms of service — to avail the call and notifications functions for a short period of time after the deadline passes, which is probably “a few weeks”.

WhatsApp caused a hue and cry when it announced its new updates in January, according to which user data can be shared with Facebook. Thousands across the globe switched to other substitute mobile apps such as Telegram and Signal.

However, WhatsApp later clarified that it cannot read or listen to a user’s chat and that the update was aimed to enable payments to other businesses.

Does WhatsApp share any information with Facebook?

It is public knowledge that WhatsApp already shares some data with Facebook — which currently owns the mobile app — such as users’ IP addresses and purchases made through the platform.

However, these privacy laws vary from country-to-country. For instance, the same laws are not applicable in Europe or the UK.

What does the new WhatsApp privacy policy update mean for users?

Earlier, Geo Pakistan had reached out to digital rights expert Usama Khilji to explain the impact of WhatsApp’s new terms and conditions.

Khilji, who is also a director at digital rights organisation Bolo Bhi, had said that one-to-one conversations between users will “remain encrypted”.

However, he had explained WhatsApp will now provide “some information” to its parent company Facebook.

Khilji had said WhatsApp will now be able to share a user’s status, mobile being used, internet and the phone number and IP address being used by an account.

“They will use this information to target you through Facebook ads,” the Bolo Bhi director had said.

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