WhatsApp on Monday said that it had told the Indian government that the privacy of users was its highest priority after it was warned by the Government that it could face legal action if it pushed ahead with its new policy
US social media giant WhatsApp on Monday said that it had told the Indian government that the privacy of users was its highest priority after the country's Ministry for electronics and information technology (MEITY) warned the Facebook-owned company that it could face legal action if it pushed ahead with its move to force Indian users to accept its new policy or exit the platform.
"We will not limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works in the coming weeks. Instead, we will continue to remind users from time to time about the update," the WhatsApp statement on Monday said.
"We have responded to the Government of India's letter and assured them that the privacy of users remains our highest priority," the company said in a statement on Monday. WhatsApp also said its update did not change the privacy of peoples' personal messages.
WhatsApp had faced an intense backlash over user concerns that data was being shared with parent company Facebook.
Some users have also moved court over the issue as these conditions are applicable only to Indian users and not WhatsApp’s European users which is seen as discriminatory. The Competition Commission of India is also investigating the matter.
The European countries have more stringent laws in place to protect the privacy of users.
In January this year, WhatsApp had first informed users in India about the changes in its terms of service and public policy requiring them to share more personal data with Facebook. Users were initially given time till February 8 to agree to the new terms in order to continue using the platform.
However, user backlash forced the company to postpone the February deadline to May 15. Some users at the time had shifted to WhatsApp’s rivals like Telegram and Signal which witnessed a surge in users.
India is one of the biggest markets for WhatsApp with around 53 crore users.