Centre asks WhatsApp to withdraw its updated privacy policy, gives time till May 25th

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has stated that WhatsApp's updated privacy policy undermines the values of informational privacy and data security. 

Created On: May 20, 2021 11:57 ISTModified On: May 20, 2021 11:57 IST

The central government has asked WhatsApp to withdraw its updated privacy policy. The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology sent a notice to the messaging platform in this regard.  

The Ministry has stated in its notice that WhatsApp's updated privacy policy undermines the values of informational privacy and data security. 

The centre has given WhatsApp seven days till May 25th to respond to the notice. 

Centre's Notice to WhatsApp

•The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in a notice has asked WhatsApp to withdraw or revise its new privacy policy. 

•The Ministry said, “Deferral of policy does not absolve WhatsApp from respecting privacy, data security, or user choice. The revised policy, manner of introduction undermines privacy, data security, and choice of Indian users.”

•The Ministry pointed out that given many users dependency on the platform for communication on a daily basis, it is irresponsible for messaging platform to leverage its position in the Indian market and impose unfair terms and conditions.

•The MeitY said that the updated privacy policy is in violation of Indian laws and rule and the government will consider various options available to it under laws in India.

•It added saying that if no satisfactory response is received by May 25th, necessary steps in consonance with the law will be taken. The matter is sub-judice before Delhi HC.

WhatsApp's response

•WhatsApp spokesperson stated that the company continues to engage with the government and he reiterated that WhatsApp's new update "does not impact the privacy of personal messages for anyone".

•He stated that "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."

•He reiterated that no accounts were deleted on May 15th because of this update and no one in India lost functionality of WhatsApp either.

•The spokesperson added saying that WhatsApp will continue to follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks.

Background 

WhatsApp’s new privacy policy update came into effect on May 15. The new update allows the company to share information collected between user and business to be shared with Facebook.

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