Wasn’t meant to be like that: Whatsapp doesn’t want to restrict the range of functions if users do not agree to the new rules. For Whatsapp users, there will be no consequences for now if they do not agree to the new data protection provisions of the messenger service. There are currently no plans to restrict the range of functions for them, said a spokesman for the company, which is owned by Facebook, to US media such as The Verge.
Whatsapp wants to clarify this after consulting with authorities and experts. Instead, these users will be reminded of the update “from time to time” .
Whatsapp put the new data protection regulations into effect about two weeks ago. It said that users who do not agree to the update threaten to gradually lose important functions after a few weeks with warnings.
“There are currently no plans to make these reminders permanent or to limit the functionality of the app,” says Whatsapp’s questions and answers about the new provisions.
According to previous announcements, users should lose access to their chat list over time, as Whatsapp explained in a blog entry. First of all, you should still be able to accept incoming audio and video calls and use the notifications to answer chat messages. A few more weeks later, Whatsapp would not send calls or messages to their smartphones.
Privacy advocates stepped in
Whatsapp had always emphasized that the update did not involve any additional data transfer to Facebook. The changes are primarily about creating better ways to communicate with companies.
The Hamburg data protection advocate Johannes Caspar nevertheless stepped in and, as a precautionary measure, issued an order in mid-May 2021 with which Facebook was prohibited from processing WhatsApp data from German users.
The order is valid for three months because the Irish data protection authority is responsible for Facebook in Europe. Whatsapp replied that the arrangement was based “on a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose and consequences of the update” .
The operators of the messenger service had already rejected the announcement in January that more data should be shared with the owner of Facebook. However, the introduction of the new provisions was postponed by more than three months to May 15 following criticism and migration of users.