WhatsApp users have less than three months to accept the company’s controversial new privacy terms or risk losing access to their accounts entirely.
WhatsApp has set a final deadline of 15th May to sign up to the terms.
Those who do not accept them will not be able to send or receive messages after that date, and their account will be listed as ‘inactive’.
WhatsApp confirmed that accounts will remain in this inactive state for 120 days before being removed.
TechCrunch reported that calls and notifications will also only work for a “few weeks”.
“To give you enough time to review changes at your own pace and convenience, we’ve extended the effective date to May 15th,” WhatsApp said in a statement.
The latest news suggests that WhatsApp will not be softening its stance on the updated terms and conditions that prompted a backlash from users when they were first announced last month.
This was due to fears that it would share more information with its owner, Facebook – however, the way that the app actually collects data has not, in fact, really changed.
WhatsApp already shares a user’s IP address and other device-level identifiers with the social media platform.
The platform’s update will allow more private businesses to interact with – and collect payments from – customers, while opening up cross-app functionality with Facebook’s Messenger service.
Following the backlash in January, some users opted to migrate to rival platforms such as Signal and Telegram.
Those still using WhatsApp will now have to decide whether to accept the new terms before mid-May.