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What happens if you don’t consent: WhatsApp won’t allow users to READ or SEND messages if they reject new privacy rules ?

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WhatsApp has confirmed that users all over the globe won’t be able to read or send messages unless they agree to its rules on sharing personal data with Facebook. The new T&Cs have sparked backlash and led to a surge in popularity of rival apps.

On Sunday, the company shared the details of how the new terms of service will affect its users with the tech news website TechCrunch. The comment came after the outlet cited an email sent by WhatsApp to one of its merchant partners.

Last month, WhatsApp asked users to agree to an update that will allow the messenger to share personal data, like phone numbers and locations, with Facebook, which owns the app. WhatsApp will start to “slowly ask” users to sign off on the new terms in order to have “full functionality” of the messenger, if they haven’t done so, before May 15. If users still do not accept the terms, for “a short time” they will be able to get calls and notifications, but will not be able to read or send messages. This “short time” will amount to a few weeks, TechCrunch said. The planned update immediately sparked uproar and concerns over privacy. The backlash prompted the company to move the deadline for the change from February 8 to May 15, 2021.

A petition has been filed before a New Delhi court in India, WhatsApp’s biggest market, alleging that the messenger’s new terms of service violate the right to privacy and pose a threat to the national security. Earlier this month, the court asked the company to provide a response to these claims.

The controversy prompted some to switch to WhatsApp competitors Telegram and Signal, with the latter being pushed by Elon Musk. Both services have seen a surge in downloads in recent weeks. Many Indian apps are also getting developed like ‘sandesh’ and ‘cuckoo’.

WhatsApp wrote on its corporate blog on Thursday that the users’ private messages will continue to be secure. “We will always protect your personal conversations with end-to-end encryption, so that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see these private messages,” the company said.

It added that the update will allow users to chat with businesses or shop online, and this function will be “entirely optional.”

This war will continue and it will be interesting who will blink 1st! Time to watch the fun from the side galleries.

Rajiv Saxena
Rajiv Saxena
Rajiv Prakash Saxena is a graduate of UBC, Vancouver, Canada. He is an authority on eCommerce, eProcurement, eSign, DSCs and Internet Security. He has been a Technology Bureaucrat and Thought leader in the Government. He has 8 books and few UN assignments. He wrote IT Policies of Colombia and has implemented projects in Jordan, Rwanda, Nepal and Mauritius. Rajiv writes, speaks, mentors on technology issues in Express Computers, ET, National frontier and TV debates. He worked and guided the following divisions: Computer Aided Design (CAD), UP: MP: Maharashtra and Haryana State Coordinator to setup NICNET in their respective Districts of the State, TradeNIC, wherein a CD containing list of 1,00,000 exporters was cut with a search engine and distributed to all Indian Embassies and High Commissions way back in the year 1997 (It was an initiative between NIC and MEA Trade Division headed by Ms. Sujatha Singh, IFS, India’s Ex Foreign Secretary), Law Commission, Ministry of Law & Justice, Department of Legal Affairs, Department of Justice, Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), National Jail Project, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Minorities (NCM), National Data Centres (NDC), NIC National Infrastructure, Certifying Authority (CA) to issue Digital Signature Certificates (DSCs), eProcurement, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MPA), Lok Sabha and its Secretariat (LSS) and Rajya Sabha and its Secretariat (RSS) along with their subordinate and attached offices like Directorate of Estate (DoE), Land & Development Office (L&DO), National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC), Central Public Works Department (CPWD), National Capital Regional Planning Board (NCRPB), Housing & Urban Development Corporation (HUDO), National Building Organisation (NBO), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), BMPTC and many others.

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