The Facebook company has updated the official WhatsApp FAQ with additional information about what will happen to users who do not agree with the new Terms of Service. According to the Facebook-owned service, your WhatsApp account will be flagged as inactive and eventually removed if you do not accept new policies by March 15, 2021.
After this date, Facebook will take away from you the ability to read or send messages. The app will only show notifications and incoming calls.
After 120 days, inactive accounts will be terminated. It is also worth mentioning that the local data remains on a device even after account removal. Users will be free to create new accounts and recover previous chats. However, they will have to accept the updated privacy-invading policies.
The new Terms of Service
WhatsApp currently goes through yet another privacy scandal that forces many to move to other messaging platforms, such as Telegram or Signal. New ToS and Privacy Policies make data-sharing with Facebook mandatory. It provides no opt-out option for privacy-minded users. After severe backlash, Facebook decided to delay the new policies until May 15, 2021.
There are decent alternatives to consider if you do not want to share personal data with Facebook through WhatsApp. Recently, Telegram introduced a new history import feature that allows you to move all your chats from WhatsApp to Telegram.
Read more about what will happen to your WhatsApp account after May 15 on the official WhatsApp FAQ Page.