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How WhatsApp’s new privacy policy will affect you

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WhatsApp’s new terms of service and privacy rules will come into effect tomorrow, and although the company has said it will not delete or de-activate accounts of people who don’t accept them, they could lose access to their chats and other functions after a while.

The US-based company caused a commotion earlier this year when it announced new conditions, which stated that the messaging service could share data with parent company Facebook. It has emphasised that this wouldn’t violate people’s privacy.

“Your personal conversations remain protected by end-to-end encryption. This means that no one outside of your chats can read or listen to your messages, not even WhatsApp or Facebook,” WhatsApp said.

It has since revealed that it wouldn’t delete or deactivate accounts if people do not accept the new agreement, but it has started showing notifications within the app asking people to accept them, and giving more information about the update.

“After giving everyone time to review the information, we continue to remind people to review and agree,” the company said, after which the gradual loss of important features, including the chat function, will follow.

This means that, after several weeks, users will no longer be able to access their chat list, but can still answer their incoming phone and video calls, and those with notifications enabled can still tap messages to read them, reply to a message or call back after a missed call.

Those who continue to refuse the new conditions after those few weeks of limited functionality will no longer receive calls, notifications, or new messages.

According to WhatsApp, the exact timing of functionality exclusion can vary from user to user.