A WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement that the company is complying with the Indian government’s letter of the new policy, reiterating that the update will have no impact on personal messages. “The aim is to provide additional information on how people can interact with companies if they so choose.”
The spokesman said that while there will be no restriction on user accounts in India, the company will continue to remind users of the update. This will take at least as long as India’s upcoming Personal Data Protection Act (PDP) comes into effect, which aims to restrict the collection of personal and sensitive information. For now, the company is holding its own and refusing to withdraw its policy.
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WhatsApp’s new policy went into effect on May 15 and affected users even on the best of cheap Android phones, though it didn’t come without a huge backlash. The company initially stated that it would delete accounts that did not accept the new policy, only to trace the accounts and instead restrict them, making them more or less unusable.
While many weren’t happy about the change, WhatsApp has stated that “the majority of users who received the new Terms of Service have accepted them”. However, competing apps like Telegram saw a massive influx of new users soon after the policy was announced. Anyone interested in moving their conversations to the new app can follow our guide on how to get your WhatsApp messages to Telegram.
In the meantime, WhatsApp has also faced setbacks in Germany after the country tried to block the new policy. If Germany considers the update illegal, it could block the new policy for three months. Facebook is considering an appeal against the order.