WhatsApp has once again lost out on its privacy policy. The Facebook-owned company has been asked by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to withdraw its new privacy policy. The letter sent by the ministry to WhatsApp has also been seen by NDTV. In this letter the message has been given to the instant messaging app. Accordingly, MeitY believes that the changes in the privacy policy of WhatsApp and the manner in which they are implemented undermine the sacred values ​​of information privacy, data security and user will. This is a violation of the rights and interests of Indian citizens. The government has given 7 days to WhatsApp to respond to this letter. If no satisfactory response is received from WhatsApp, then necessary steps will be taken again as per law, read the letter.

In a May 18 contact with WhatsApp, the ministry had again told the messaging platform to withdraw its 2021 privacy policy.

In this message, the government had tried to draw the attention of WhatsApp to how its new privacy policy violates several provisions of existing Indian laws and regulations.

In fulfilling its sovereign responsibility to protect the rights and interests of Indian citizens, the government will look at other options that are within the purview of Indian laws.

The ministry has also strongly raised the issue of discriminatory treatment by WhatsApp between Indian users and European users. It said, “As you are well aware, many Indian citizens depend on WhatsApp in their everyday life for communication. It is not only suspicious but also irresponsible that WhatsApp uses its unfair terms and conditions. Take advantage of your position to enforce the rules, especially those rules that discriminate between users in Europe and users in India.”

It is also necessary to mention here that WhatsApp has been reprimanded many times for sharing data with its parent company Facebook. The letter also states that WhatsApp has officially postponed its new privacy policy till May 15, 2021.

However, the ministry says that the suspension of the policy does not exempt WhatsApp from respecting Indian users’ information privacy, data security and user wishes.

It also emphasizes that the changes to the Privacy Policy and the implementation of these changes in the form of FAQs (frequently asked questions) violates the privacy of users’ information, data security and the will of the users.
The Ministry also made the same stand in the Delhi High Court from where the matter is sub-judice and from where this letter has been issued.
Update- WhatsApp spoke to Gadgets 360 and made the following statement:
“We are continuing to discuss this with the government and reaffirm our statement we made earlier that this update will not affect the privacy of any individual’s private messages.
Our goal is to make people aware of all the options we are working on to send business messages on WhatsApp, which people will have in the future as well. Majority of the people have also accepted the new rules of services. We encourage those who haven’t had a chance to do so yet. Neither account has been deleted nor the functioning of WhatsApp has been affected on 15 May. We will keep reminding people about this for the next few weeks. We are grateful that WhatsApp is playing such an important role in people’s lives. We will continue to take advantage of opportunities when we can tell people how we protect their private messages and confidential information.”

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