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Sunday, April 2, 2023

Govt directs WhatsApp to roll back new privacy policy, warns of action

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has again directed WhatApp to withdraw its much controversial revised privacy policy and has warned action against the platform.

According to official sources, in its notice to the company, the ministry has said that there are various options available for the messaging platform under Indian law.

The government has told WhatsApp to respond to its concerns by May 25.

Noting that many Bharatiya users depend on WhatsApp for communicating on a daily basis, the ministry said that it is irresponsible for WhatsApp to leverage position in Bharatiya market to impose unfair terms and conditions.

As per the ministry, the changes to WhatsApp privacy policy and the manner of introducing the changes undermines the sacrosanct values of informational privacy, data security and user choice and harms the rights and interests of Bharat’s citizens.

The communication also notes how WhatsApp’s new privacy policy is a violation of several provisions of the existing Indian laws and rules.

The ministry has also strongly taken up the issue of WhatsApp’s ‘discriminatory treatment’ to Bharatiya users in comparison to the users in Europe.

WhatsApp’s decision to share data with its parent company, Facebook as per its revised privacy policy drew a lot of flak from the public and the government.

It had deferred its new privacy policy beyond May 15, 2021.

The matter is sub-judice as the ministry approached the Delhi High Court over the same.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with minor edits to conform to HinduPost style-guide.)

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