WhatsApp will no longer limit users from sending and receiving messages if they refuse a new privacy policy.
  • WhatsApp previously said it would limit functionality to users who refused a new privacy policy.
  • Now, the platform is reversing its decision, and says users won't be forced to accept the policy.
  • The policy change has drawn criticisms, with some users migrating to Signal and Telegram.
  • For mores stories visit Business Insider.

Backpedaling, WhatsApp will no longer limit users from sending and receiving messages if they refuse a new privacy policy.

WhatsApp said earlier this month, that users who refused a new privacy policy would no longer receive calls or notifications, limiting functionality.

But for now, in a confusing rollout, WhatsApp has changed course, and it won't restrict any functionality to users who don't accept the policy, which went into effect on May 15, according to The Next Web.

WhatsApp also published an updated statement to its Help Center: "No one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality of WhatsApp on May 15th because of this update," it said.

The new privacy policy was originally planned for February, but was delayed by three months after critics claimed the update would allow the app to share more personal data with Facebook, WhatsApp's parent company. WhatsApp has said the updated terms only apply to messaging business accounts, enabling businesses to link up with Facebook's platform more easily.

Users migrated to rival encrypted messaging apps, like Signal and Telegram, after Whatsapp first introduced the policy in January. Downloads for Signal were up 4,200% from the previous week after WhatsApp first sent users a notification about the changes.

In January, India reportedly asked WhatsApp to reverse its new policy change. India is WhatsApp's biggest market, and holds more than 400 million of the app's 2 billion users.

WhatsApp did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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