Privacy Policy of Whatsapp

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Ministry Asks WhatsApp to Withdraw New Privacy Policy Update

Whatsapp receives orders from the Ministry…learn more…

Thursday, 20th May 2021

In yet another directive to messaging service WhatsApp, The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has asked for the withdrawal of their new privacy policy. The contentious policy that was first announced in December 2020 has been attracting much dissension ever since.

As per sources, in a communication to the Facebook-owned firm on Tuesday, the ministry has cited detrimental effects of such a step to the rights and interests of the citizens of India and asked them to call off this new privacy policy update.

The matter is currently under trial in the Delhi High Court where the ministry is standing by its contention that the proposed changes to the Privacy Policy by WhatsApp and the method they have chosen to introduce these policies, along with the FAQ, diminishes the “sacrosanct values of informational privacy, data security, and user choice for Indian users.”

Also Read: WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy May Have Legal Implications for Them.

The Ministry has also stated, “As you are doubtlessly aware, many Indian citizens depend on WhatsApp to communicate in everyday life. It is not just problematic, but also irresponsible, for WhatsApp to leverage this position to impose unfair terms and conditions on Indian users, particularly those that discriminate against Indian users vis-à-vis users in Europe.”

A seven-day deadline has been offered to WhatsApp by MeitY to respond to its letter. It has also said, “if no satisfactory response is received, necessary steps in con­sonance with the law will be taken”.

Earlier, in January this year also, the government had exhorted WhatsApp to repeal its new privacy policy stating that the proposed changes “make invasive and precise inferences about users”.

The messaging service has set an initial deadline of February 8 for these changes. However, the date was later extended to May 15 following a reprisal and pressing concerns over users’ private data being shared with Facebook.

In their defense, a spokesperson for WhatsApp said, “We continue to engage with the government and we reaffirm what we said before. 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 in the future.”

They also said that other companies including Google, Microsoft, Zoom, Zomato, Republic World, Ola Cabs, True caller, Big Basket, Koo, and public sector entities such as Aarogya Setu, Bhim, Air India, Sandes, Government e-Marketplace (GeM), Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), also have similar policies.

The News Talkie Bureau



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