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WhatsApp won't delete your account for ignoring that privacy policy update

Your account won't be deactivated on Saturday. Here's what will happen instead.

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Angela Lang/CNET

WhatsApp's new privacy policy kicks in on Saturday, but the Facebook-owned messaging app is giving people a bit more time to review and accept the update. But, that won't last forever. Here's what the company says will happen if you continue to delay.

After a "period of several weeks," reminders about the new policy will become "persistent," WhatsApp said in a blog post, adding that you'll eventually face "limited functionality" until you accept the update. 

"For those that have not yet had a chance to do so, their accounts will not be deleted or lose functionality on May 15," said a WhatsApp spokesperson in an emailed statement May 7. "We'll continue to provide reminders to those users within WhatsApp in the weeks to come." The spokesperson also said a majority of people who have received notices about the app's privacy policy changes have accepted the new terms of service. 

WhatsApp earlier this year faced a slew of backlash from privacy advocates and even Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk following the announcement about an updated policy, eventually delaying the change to May 15. In response to concerns that it'll share personal information with corporate parent Facebook, WhatsApp said the update doesn't affect the privacy of messages with friends and family, and instead relates only to messaging businesses through the platform

People who put off accepting the privacy update even after reminders become persistent won't be able to access their chat list but will still be able to answer incoming phone and video calls, WhatsApp said, and will also be able to tap on notifications to respond to messages or return a missed call. If you continue to hold out even after a "few weeks of limited functionality," WhatsApp said it'll stop sending calls and messages to your phone. 

The company also noted that its existing policy on inactive users will still apply, meaning your account may be deleted if it's inactive for 120 days.