After Govt’s notice, WhatsApp says new update does not impact privacy of personal messages

After Govt’s notice, WhatsApp says new update does not impact privacy of personal messages

After India’s Minsitry of Electronics and Information Technology directed WhatsApp to withdraw the new privacy policy, WhatsApp responded by reaffirming that the new policy does not impact the privacy of personal messages.

A WhatsApp spokesperson told Mint, “We continue to engage with the government and we reaffirm what we said before that 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 further added, “While the majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them, we appreciate some people haven’t had the chance to do so yet. No accounts were deleted on May 15 because of this update and no one in India lost functionality of WhatsApp either. We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks. We’re grateful for the important role WhatsApp plays in people’s lives and we’ll take every opportunity to explain how we protect people’s personal messages and private information.”

The govt had earlier expressed concerns regarding the new privacy policy and claimed that it was in violation of several provisions of the existing Indian laws and rules.

The IT Ministry had provided WhatsApp with a time period of seven days to come up with a ‘satisfactory’ response asking for the Facebook-owned chat application to take the necessary steps in consonance with the law.

The government also claimed that in order to protect the rights and interest of Indian citizens, it will consider various options available under the law.

The ministry further pointed the difference in treatment of Indian users, compared to their European counterparts. In the statement, the ministry said, “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.”

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