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WhatsApp has been asked to withdraw controversial privacy policy changes

India's IT ministry has reportedly written a "strongly worded" letter to WhatsApp's CEO.

Published onJanuary 19, 2021

WhatsApp by Facebook stock photo 1
  • The Indian government has reportedly asked WhatsApp to withdraw its latest policy changes.
  • It has asked WhatsApp to reconsider information privacy, freedom of choice, and data security.
  • The IT ministry apparently conveyed the message in a “strongly worded” letter.

WhatsApp might be taking out full-page advertisements in Indian newspapers justifying its latest privacy policy changes, but the Indian government is not paying heed to any such reassurances.

According to the Press Trust of India (via Gadgets360), the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has asked WhatsApp to withdraw the proposed changes to its privacy policy.

The messaging platform has already delayed the implementation of the new terms. However, with this uncharacteristic intervention by the Indian government, we could see the Facebook-owned service roll back the changes completely.

The ministry has reportedly written a strongly worded letter to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart asking the company to reconsider its privacy of information, freedom of choice, and data security.

“Any unilateral changes to the WhatsApp Terms of Service and Privacy would not be fair and acceptable,” the letter reportedly noted.

Also read: How to delete a WhatsApp account

The MeitY letter, which seems more like a request than a strict directive, was issued a day after the Delhi High Court responded to a petition by saying that WhatsApp’s new privacy policy was a “voluntary” thing that people can choose not to accept.

“Even Google Maps captures all your data and stores it,” the court said.

There’s no word on WhatsApp acknowledging the government’s request. If it does accept the request though, it’ll be the first such rollback in India, possibly setting a precedent for all other social media networks and the tech industry at large.

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