What happens after May 15th?

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A lot of users wonder what happens after the day on which the Terms of Service takes effect and if their WhatsApp account is in danger.
Let’s discover the details in this article.


Common questions Answers
Topic about? Terms of Service
Article for? WhatsApp for Android and iOS
Previous news? WhatsApp beta for Android what’s new?

We’re really close to the day when the Terms of Service takes effect: May 15th. What will happen?

  • I’ve accepted the Terms of Service: a lot of people believe that this move allows Facebook to get more data, but it’s not like that. You can still use WhatsApp to chat with family and friends safely and normally as always, because the real change is about how chatting with business accounts works.
    There are two types of business accounts: a normal business account and a special business account that uses cloud providers.
    While contacting a normal business account is like chatting with a friend or family member, when you chat with a business account that uses cloud providers, it’s possible that the details of the chat with them are used to generate targeted advertisements on Facebook. This isn’t always true because it depends from the privacy policy of the business: you can ask for their privacy policy by simply sending a message before starting the real conversation.
    So, if you were worried about the Terms of Service, you can understand now you can just avoid these “special” business accounts having “bad” privacy practices to stay away from Facebook.
    You can recognize them because it’s marked at the top of the conversation if they use tools to manage and store the chat.

    Note that, if you use Facebook Shop, some data might be shared with Facebook as well, for example what you see in Facebook Shop. The solution here is simple too: just avoid using Facebook Shops (optional feature available for business accounts that can be explored from users). The WhatsApp Catalog is something different developed from WhatsApp, so it doesn’t send data to Facebook.

  • I didn’t accept the Terms of Service: your account won’t be deleted on May 15th, and you don’t lose your current chat history and backup, but you will be limited to use some WhatsApp features. You can still answer incoming voice and video calls, and reply to messages from notifications (you can only send text messages) in the first few weeks, but you cannot open the chat list because there is the reminder about the Terms of Service.
    There are other features you won’t be able to use, if you don’t accept the Terms of Service:

    1. You won’t be able to send new status updates within the application.
    2. It’s not possible to forward messages from a chat to another one.
    3. You cannot manage and use broadcast lists and create new groups, but you can still be added in groups from other people, if your privacy settings allow them to add you, otherwise you cannot accept new invites to groups.
    4. Messaging services are very limited: you cannot quote messages or mention participants in your groups, and you cannot send voice messages, stickers and other type of media within the application.
    5. You won’t be able to back up your chat history, if you have disabled the automatic backup.
    6. You cannot use the service Click To Chat.
    7. You cannot export your chat history.
    8. If you have iOS, you cannot view shared media anymore, if you haven’t previously exported them. On WhatsApp for Android you can still view your media using a File Manager visiting the new path.

    After a few weeks, you won’t be able to receive messages and calls, because the messaging service is completely disabled. You can still consider to accept the Terms of Service to use WhatsApp again because WhatsApp won’t delete your account if you don’t accept the terms, but the only way to use WhatsApp with all its features is to accept them.
    Your chat history won’t be deleted in the meantime but note that WhatsApp might still delete your account after a certain amount of time (4 months) because of inactivity, removing, in this case, all chats, messages and backups.

If you didn’t accept the Terms of Service because you think this is something to give more power to Facebook using your data, you can read above what’s changing for people that have accepted the terms. WhatsApp didn’t give specific details and they weren’t enough clear the first time, so there was so much misinformation and they didn’t take immediate action to limit it. The phenomenon of fake news and people that hate WhatsApp has worsened the situation.
Here at WABetaInfo have always clarified the situation from the start, so if you follow WABetaInfo since a long time, you know the situation well.
If you want a short answer if it’s safe to accept the new Terms of Service: if you don’t chat with business accounts that use cloud providers and you don’t use Facebook Shop (that are optional features), nothing changes. It’s exactly like before. You can accept the Terms of Service and start using all messaging services safely without any limitation.

Do you still have some doubt? You can also read this article to discover more details and information about the Terms of Service and, if you’re curious about other data used from WhatsApp, the article about Apple Privacy Labels for WhatsApp (for example the coarse location and the battery level of your device) is for you.
Note that, according to irishtimes: “There are no changes to WhatsApp’s data-sharing practices in the European region arising from the updated terms of service and privacy policy. For the avoidance of any doubt, it is still the case that WhatsApp does not share European region WhatsApp user data with Facebook for the purpose of Facebook using this data to improve its products or advertisements,” a WhatsApp spokeswoman said.

So, what are you waiting for? I understand your concern but, really, there is nothing to be worried about. WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, so your chats and calls are safe, and WhatsApp does not keep logs of who everyone is messaging or calling. WhatsApp obviously sees phone numbers of your contact list (because you gave the permission from your device settings, and you can revoke it at any time), but they are never shared with Facebook.
If you’re worried, just avoid those two services above mentioned and nothing changes.


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