Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The controversy regarding WhatsApp’s privacy policy is one that has been going ever since the Facebook-owned platform first announced it, due to users being concerned about the threat to their privacy. It also managed to catch the eye of the apex court of the country India), which said that it would intervene if necessary to protect the privacy of the citizens. WhatsApp had pushed the deadline for users to accept its privacy policy to May 15, but it has now been scrapped.

One of the main points of the controversy was the apprehension that users would not be able to access their WhatsApp accounts if they did not agree to the policy. WhatsApp on Friday allayed those fears, saying that such users would continue to be able to access their accounts, which will not be deleted.

“No accounts will be deleted on May 15 because of this update and no one in India will lose functionality of WhatsApp either. We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks,” a spokesperson said, adding that while a “majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them”, some people have not had the chance to do so yet. However, neither the reason behind the decision nor the number of users who have accepted the terms so far has been revealed by the company.

You will perhaps remember the sensation and the immense backlash WhatsApp faced once it had announced the new privacy policy in January. The company came under attack after users worried that it will start sharing personal user data with its parent company Facebook, which WhatsApp countered by saying that it did not share any data with Facebook, nor did it change its end-to-end encryption, which is present on all private chats. It added that the update only includes data shared with business accounts, but that has not managed to sway public opinion.

The former deadline of February 8 had been pushed to May 15, and now that it has been scrapped, further developments on the matter are unknown as of now.

“As a reminder, this update does not impact the privacy of personal messages for anyone. Our goal is to provide information about new options we are building that people will have, to message a business on WhatsApp, in the future,” the spokesperson said, adding that it would take every opportunity to explain how WhatsApp protects people’s personal messages and private information.