Union IT Ministry Asks WhatsApp To Withdraw Controversial Privacy Policy

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The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (IT) on the 19th of May, directed WhatApp to withdraw its controversial revised privacy policy.  The Central Government also warned of strict action against the Chief Executive of the social media platform if not acted upon the orders.

The Union IT Ministry in its official notice to the company said, that there are various options available for the messaging platform under Indian law.

Recently, the newly revised policy of WhatsApp gained a lot criticism for invading privacy. The WhatsApp decided to share data with its parent company, Facebook as per its revised privacy policy. It had deferred its new privacy policy from the 15th of May 2021.  The matter is subjudice as the ministry approached the Delhi High Court over the same. The major concerns of the people regarding their data being shared with Facebook, creating concerns.

Noting that many Indian users depend on WhatsApp for communicating on a daily basis, the ministry said that it is irresponsible for WhatsApp to leverage position in Indian 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 Indian citizens.

The communication also notes how WhatsApps its 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 Indian users in comparison to the users in Europe.

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

Stay tuned for further updates.