WhatsApp users can now reject Terms of Service, but that may come at the cost of app functions

WhatsApp users can now reject Terms of Service, but that may come at the cost of app functions
So, let’s rewind a bit to 2021. Some of you might recall that there was a mass abandonment of WhatsApp, which led to an increase in popularity of other apps like Telegram or Signal. But do you remember why that happened?

Well, WhatsApp rolled out a controversial update to their policy statement, which was a tad unclear and could be understood as “Hey, we’re going to be sending your info to Facebook from here on out, hope that’s fine”. Well, users didn’t take kindly to that. So much so that the European Union (EU) had to budge in and demand that WhatsApp improve the way it is explaining changes such as these so that the “terms” part can become more clear.

It took years — until yesterday in fact — for this to be settled and with this confirmation by the official blog of the EU, WhatsApp has completely agreed to all requirements. But does this mean that it is party time and that all Terms of Service (ToS) from Meta are gone forever, at least in the EU?

Of course not.

So, here is what WhatsApp will change from the point of view of the EU:

  • It is to provide clarity to future changes to contracts with users and more specifically, how that alters their rights
  • Furthermore, the developers of WhatsApp are to allow users to reject ToS alterations just as easily as users can accept it
  • Lastly, WhatsApp users are to be enabled to dismiss ToS update notifications so that they can postpone reading them in detail; In addition, no recurring notifications are to follow

That doesn’t sound that bad! So where is the catch? Well, last time that users were allowed to skip or deny ToS updates, WhatsApp informed them that certain features and functions would be disabled until further notice. While the company is yet to respond if this instance is different in any way, we don’t see how that may be the case, as the documents in question may contain entirely new segments related to newly introduced features. As such, if users don’t accept them, they won’t be able to legally function.

Recommended Stories
When the outcry of 2021 happened, WhatsApp was quick to respond that no data would be shared with Meta or Facebook. The company was quick to point out that conversations are encrypted either way, so it couldn’t possibly do that even if it wanted to. However, the damage had already been done, and hence now WhatsApp are heavily marketing their service through emphasis on security and encryption.

In review, this event is a bit of an oddball. Until we receive more information from WhatsApp on what the plan to implement these new rules is, we reserve further judgment. But if you are in a country that is part of the EU, you should definitely follow this story further. Naturally, we’ll make sure to let you know when we hear something.

Recommended Stories

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless