In a statement where it claims to have talked to “various authorities and privacy experts,” WhatsApp seems to have reversed course on limiting accounts. “We want to make clear that we currently have no plans to limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works for those who have not yet accepted the update,” the statement to The Next Web states.
It follows on “Instead, we will continue to remind users from time to time about the update as well as when people choose to use relevant optional features, like communicating with a business that is receiving support from Facebook.”
The statement is a considerable step backwards for WhatsApp, which was insistent in early May that after “several weeks” of non-acceptance, core functionality of the platform would have been restricted.
The policy changes produced an early user backlash on their announcement, which relate to how business chat logs are stored and retained on Facebook’s servers, which critics saw as a wider grab for personal data from the social network. The backlash saw an exodus of millions of users from WhatsApp to other privacy services, which at one point caused an outage for rival chat service Signal.
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