Messaging platform WhatsApp on Friday scrapped the May 15 deadline it had set for users to accept its privacy policy. The Facebook-owned firm has also confirmed it will not delete accounts if users do not accept terms and conditions under the new policy, PTI reported. 

WhatsApp said that it will continue to give follow-up reminders to users who have not yet accepted the policy terms over the next few weeks. 

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“No accounts will be deleted on May 15 because of this update and no one in India will lose functionality of WhatsApp either. We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks,” a spokesperson told PTI. 

The new privacy policy was widely criticised over concerns that user data will be shared with its parent company Facebook. 

The company had initially informed users in India about the policy in January through in-app notifications, and had set a deadline of February 8 for users to accept the policy and continue using the platform.

The spokesperson said that a “majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them”, adding that some have not got a chance to do so yet. 

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The company did not reveal how many users have accepted the terms so far, neither did it give a reason for the users that haven’t. 

WhatsApp says that the privacy policy updates include more information about its service and how its processes user data, how businesses can use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats; and how WhatsApp partners with Facebook to offer integrations across the company products. 

It also underscored that the new privacy policy does not allow it to share more data with Facebook. However, severe backlash over the company’s data-sharing with Facebook led to the deadline being extended to May 15. 

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The spokesperson said the company has spent the last few months trying to “clear up confusion and misinformation”. “As a reminder, this update does not impact the privacy of personal messages for anyone. Our goal is to provide information about new options we are building that people will have, to message a business on WhatsApp, in the future,” the spokesperson said. 

India is the biggest market for WhatsApp, and the platform, as per government data, has 53 crore users in the country. It remains a critical market for Internet companies like Facebook with its large population base and burgeoning Internet adoption.