Central Government Tells WhatsApp To Withdraw Its New Privacy Policy

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Delhi, January 19, 2021: Amid the rampant complaints about WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, The Indian government has asked the company to withdraw it, denying it and finding it unacceptable. The central government has written a letter to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart, saying that any unilateral change in service, privacy terms is not appropriate and acceptable. The government also said that the proposed changes in the WhatsApp privacy policy cause serious concerns and that they should be withdrawn.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology stated in a strong letter to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart that India is the largest user of WhatsApp in the world and the largest market for its services. The letter affirmed that the changes proposed in the service and privacy policy of WhatsApp raise significant concerns regarding the choice and autonomy of the Indian citizens.

The ministry asked WhatsApp to withdraw the proposed changes and reconsider its approach to information privacy, freedom of selection, and data security. The letter stated that Indians should be treated with due respect and any unilateral change in WhatsApp’s service, privacy terms are neither fair nor acceptable.

Communications, Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad assured at the 15th India Digital Summit that national security and privacy would be given the highest importance during liaison with international companies. WhatsApp has been heavily criticized by many countries around the world including India on the issue of data security and privacy. However, WhatsApp has said that the messages sent on its platform are completely confidential and WhatsApp or Facebook cannot view private messages sent from its platform.

Ravi Shankar Prasad stated, “My department is working on this issue, and being the deciding authority, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on it. However, I would like to say one thing very clearly. Be it WhatsApp, Facebook, or any digital platform, you are free to do business in India but do so without infringing on the rights of Indians working here.”

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