WhatsApp says won’t limit functionality for users not accepting new privacy policy

WhatsApp has informed the government that it’ll not limit the functionality of the messaging app for Indian users who do not settle for its contentious privacy policy until the nation’s proposed private information safety regulation comes into impact. It, nevertheless, would proceed to nudge users to permit them to share information of enterprise transactions to 3rd get together firms together with its mother or father Facebook, individuals conversant in the event mentioned.

“They will wait for the Personal Data Protection Bill to be handed. Till then, WhatsApp will ship reminders to just accept the new policy and not disable any characteristic,” a senior authorities official informed ET. The Bill which is presently with the Joint Parliamentary Committee is more likely to be tabled within the Parliament later this yr.

Last week, the federal government directed the Facebook-owned firm to
withdraw its policy, saying it was dangerous to the “interests of Indian citizens”. The ministry of electronics and IT (MeitY), had given the corporate seven days to answer its letter on May 18.

The official additionally mentioned that the corporate in its response to the federal government two days in the past mentioned that it’ll adjust to the provisions of the PDP invoice every time it comes into impact. According to specialists, the Bill comprises provisions regarding goal limitation of information assortment which can make the newest Whatsapp policy unviable in India.

Another senior official informed ET that although the matter is subjudice within the Court, the federal government is attempting to exert strain on the corporate to not pressure the policy on Indian users. “We have taken the same stance in the Court,” he mentioned.

“We have responded to the Government of India’s letter and assured them that the privacy of users remains our highest priority. As a reminder, the recent update does not change the privacy of people’s personal messages. Its purpose is to provide additional information about how people can interact with businesses if they choose to do so,” a WhatsApp spokesperson mentioned in an announcement.

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“We will not limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works in the coming weeks. Instead, we will continue to remind users from time to time about the update as well as when people choose to use relevant optional features, like communicating with a business that is receiving support from Facebook,” the spokesperson mentioned. “We hope this approach reinforces the choice that all users have whether or not they want to interact with a business. We will maintain this approach until at least the forthcoming PDP law comes into effect,” the spokesperson added.

The authorities had mentioned in its letter that “Changes to the privacy policy and the manner of introducing these changes, including in frequently asked questions (FAQs), undermines the sacrosanct values of informational privacy, data security and user choice for Indian users, and harms the rights and interests of Indian citizens.” WhatsApp responded to the federal government on Saturday.

WhatsApp, in its FAQs on its web site, had warned users that they could lose few functionalities in the event that they do not settle for its new privacy policy. It had additionally mentioned that after slowly curbing the functionality, the corporate will finally delete the consumer accounts. The policy got here into impact on May 15 after being deferred from February.

With over 400 million users, India has the most important consumer base for WhatsApp globally.

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