Here’s what will happen if you don’t accept WhatsApp’s new privacy policy by May 15

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has detailed in a FAQ what will happen if you don’t accept the new terms in its updated privacy policy that’s due to go into effect May 15. Although your account won’t be deleted, failure to accept the new terms by the effective date will cripple the app


  • You won’t be able to send messages after the cut-off date.
  • Receiving calls will be possible for a “short time.”
  • WhatsApp has officially confirmed these new terms.

An illustration with a WhatsApp logo in white set against a green background

What happens with your WhatsApp on May 15

According to a FAQ document that WhatsApp has now published on its website, limited functionality will prevent you from sending messages and receiving notifications:

To give you enough time to review changes at your own pace and convenience, we’ve extended the effective date to May 15. If you haven’t accepted by then, WhatsApp will not delete your account. However, you won’t have full functionality of WhatsApp until you accept the new terms by May 15.

For a short time, you’ll be able to receive calls and notifications but not send messages or call people from the app. According to a WhatsApp spokesperson speaking to TechCrunch, in this particular case the definition of “a short time” is a few weeks.

Facebook cannot see your individual messages because they are end-to-end encrypted and not stored on its servers. What the new privacy policy boils down to is permitting a certain amount of data sharing between WhatsApp Business and its parent Facebook.

Privacy backlash

The new terms were supposed to go into effect February 8. However, Facebook was forced to delay the introduction of the updated privacy policy due to user backlash on social media as people began switching over to rival messaging platforms.

We’ve heard from so many people how much confusion there is around our recent update. There’s been a lot of misinformation causing concern and we want to help everyone understand our principles and the facts.

As a result, WhatsApp has pledged to let users review the upcoming changes at their own pace via a new banner inside the app laying out the upcoming privacy policy changes.