English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Govt tells WhatsApp to scrap new policy for Indian users

Govt tells WhatsApp to scrap new policy for Indian users (IANS)

The Indian government has in a stern letter to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart, told the messaging app not to go ahead with its new policy which makes it mandatory for its users in India to share their information with Facebook, a senior official confirmed.

The government has taken strong exception to the differential privacy policies for the European Union and India. "Given that India has the largest user base for WhatsApp in the world, this discriminatory treatment to Indian users shows lack of respect for interests of Indian citizens by WhatsApp. In this context, government reminds WhatsApp that it has a sovereign right to protect the interests of Indian citizens and it shall not compromise on that at any cost," states the letter from the Electronics and Information Technology Ministry communicated to WhatsApp.

The Ministry has strongly objected to WhatsApp "forcing its users to accept the new service terms and privacy policies, without giving them an option to opt-out of this proposed change of integrating user data with other Facebook companies."

WhatsApp had told its users they must allow it to share data with its parent company Facebook or they will have to stop using the app from Feb 8. However, jolted by the sudden rush of users to rival apps Signal and Telegram, WhatsApp has decided to postpone the date to May. The new diktat does not apply to users in the UK and Europe which has sparked accusations of discrimination against the company in countries like India.

WhatsApp appears to be taking advantage of the fact that these countries are still working on their data privacy laws while Europe already has strong cyber laws in place which do not allow the messenger app to share the data of users.