You can use the app without agreeing to the policy… at least for a little while.
“No one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality of WhatsApp on May 15th because of this update,” WhatsApp clarified in an FAQ update.
“For the last several weeks we’ve displayed a notification in WhatsApp providing more information about the update. After giving everyone time to review, we’re continuing to remind those who haven’t had the chance to do so to review and accept. After a period of several weeks, the reminder people receive will eventually become persistent.”
What this means in simple terms is that rather than instantly stripping your account of all functionality on the deadline, your account will instead be gradually hindered over time until it’s effectively worthless if you don’t accept the new policy.
— Engadget (@engadget) May 10, 2021
“You won’t be able to access your chat list, but you can still answer incoming phone and video calls. If you have notifications enabled, you can tap on them to read or respond to a message or call back a missed phone or video call,” the FAQ explains “After a few weeks of limited functionality, you won’t be able to receive incoming calls or notifications and WhatsApp will stop sending messages and calls to your phone.”
WhatsApp has said that no accounts will be deleted for not agreeing to the policy, though there is a proviso in the policy that states accounts that are inactive for 120 days may be scrapped.