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

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has once again ordered WhatApp to revoke its much-discussed updated privacy policy and threatened the site that it would face legal action.

According to official reports, the ministry stated in its notice to the firm that different options exist for the messaging app under Indian law.

The government has requested a response from WhatsApp by May 25.

Noting that a large number of Indian users depend on WhatsApp for everyday communication, the ministry said that it is irresponsible for WhatsApp to exploit its market dominance in India to enforce unequal terms and conditions.

According to the ministry, the amendments to WhatsApp’s privacy policies and the way in which they were implemented violate the sacrosanct principles of informational protection, data protection, and customer preference, as well as Indian citizens’ rights and interests.

Additionally, the correspondence states how WhatsApp’s current privacy policy violates many requirements of established Indian laws and regulations.

Additionally, the ministry also raised the question of WhatsApp’s ‘discriminatory treatment’ of Indian users in relation to European users.

WhatsApp’s move to exchange data with parent company Facebook in accordance with its amended privacy policy attracted widespread criticism from the public and government.

It had postponed the implementation of its revised privacy policies until May 15, 2021.

The case is currently pending before the Delhi High Court, following the ministry’s application to the court.

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Written by Ankur J Kakoti

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