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WhatsApp is on yet another charm offensive in its bid to get the billions of people who use it every day to accept its new terms and conditions. These updated T&Cs were first announced late last year and will come into effect from May 15. That means there’s just a couple of weeks to hit the “agree” button and ignoring this change will leave you blocked from sending and reading messages from friends and family.
With the deadline closing in fast, the Facebook-owned firm is now bombarding users with full-screen pop-up adverts which explain more about what’s changing and how it will affect the app.
Along with that warning, the message also explains exactly what is changing and why users shouldn’t be concerned about signing up.
When WhatsApp first announced its updated terms towards the end of last year, many loyal users were concerned that it signalled more data-sharing between the chat app and its parent company Facebook.
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However, WhatsApp is keen to point out that this is not the case. In the new message, the company says, “We can’t read or listen to your personal conversations, as they are end-to-end encrypted. This will never change.
“We’re making it easier to chat with businesses to ask questions and get quick answers. Chatting with businesses is optional.”
So if that’s the case what is the big deal about the new terms and conditions?
The upcoming changes do not enable Facebook to access any more data from your personal chats. In fact, it will only impact conversations with a business account – like a customer care line for an online brand, for example. Even then, the data that can be accessed between these optional interactions with business accounts will not apply in the UK or mainland Europe, thanks to tough EU regulations on data-sharing practices.
In a recent blog post WhatsApp has tried to calm fears about the upcoming change with the firm saying: “As a reminder, we’re building new ways to chat or shop with a business on WhatsApp that are entirely optional. Personal messages will always be end-to-end encrypted, so WhatsApp can’t read or listen to them.
“In the coming weeks, we’ll display a banner in WhatsApp providing more information that people can read at their own pace. We’ve also included more information to try and address concerns we’re hearing. Eventually, we’ll start reminding people to review and accept these updates to keep using WhatsApp.”
Sadly, if you want to keep messaging after May 15 you are going to have to accept the new terms as not doing so will leave you without access to the most popular chat app on the planet.
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