WhatsApp is directed by Meity toDraw New Privacy Policy, Letter Shows

WhatsApp privacy policy continues – Facebook-owned company has been asked to withdraw its new privacy policy by the Department of Information Technology (MeitY), as a letter sent by an instant messaging agency reached by NDTV.

MeitY believes the change in WhatsApp’s privacy policy and approach to the change undermines the sacred principles of information privacy, data security, and user preferences and undermines the rights and interests of Indian citizens, the letter showed.

The government has given WhatsApp seven days to respond to this notice and if no satisfactory response is received, appropriate legal action will be taken, the letter elaborated.

In a WhatsApp communication section on May 18, the department also told the messaging forum to withdraw its 2021 privacy policy, they said.

The Department, in its communications, has drawn attention to WhatsApp on how its new privacy policy violates several provisions of existing laws and regulations in India.

To fulfill its royal duty to protect the rights and interests of Indian citizens, the government will consider various options available under Indian law, the letter added.

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The Department has also strongly taken the issue of WhatsApp’s “discriminatory treatment” to Indian users visiting Europe.

It says: “As you know, undoubtedly, many Indian citizens rely on WhatsApp to communicate in daily life.

It is worth mentioning here that WhatsApp has suffered a major setback due to user concerns that the data was shared with its parent company, Facebook.

The letter reported that WhatsApp had previously announced that it had officially postponed its new privacy policy beyond 15 May 2021.

However, the Department in its liaison confirmed that the postponement of the privacy policy beyond May 15, does not open WhatsApp in respect of information privacy standards, data security and user preferences for Indian users.

Emphasize that changes in privacy policy and the way in which we present changes including FAQs (frequently asked questions) undermine privacy values, data security and user preferences.

The department has taken similar action in the Delhi High Court, where the matter is a matter of court, the letter said.

Update: WhatsApp has spoken to Gadget 360 and sent the following statement.

“We continue to liaise with the government and confirm that we have stated earlier that this renewal does not affect the confidentiality of personal messages to anyone.

Our goal is to provide information on the new options we are building for people to have, to send a message to WhatsApp, in the future. While most users who have received new terms of service have embraced it, we are grateful that some people have not yet had the opportunity to do so. No accounts were deleted on May 15 due to this update and no one in India has lost the functionality of WhatsApp. We will follow up on reminders to the people in the next few weeks. We are proud of the important role that WhatsApp plays in people’s lives and we will take every opportunity to explain how we protect people’s messages and personal information. “

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