New Privacy Policy Does Not Impact Users' Messages, Reiterates WhatsApp

WhatsApp has been asked to withdraw its new privacy policy by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, which believes the changes in it and the manner of introducing them undermines data security, privacy and user choice.

New Privacy Policy Does Not Impact Users' Messages, Reiterates WhatsApp

A fresh communication was sent to WhatsApp on May 18 and the social media was given a week to respond.

New Delhi:

WhatsApp today reiterated that its new privacy policy which the government wants to be withdrawn, does not impact the "privacy of personal messages for anyone". "We continue to engage with the government," a spokesperson said, underscoring that though some people have not accepted the new terms of service, no account in India has been deleted or functionality impaired after May 15.

"Our goal is to provide information about new options we are building that people will have, to message a business on WhatsApp, in the future. While the majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them, we appreciate some people haven't had the chance to do so yet," the spokesperson said.

"We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks. We're grateful for the important role WhatsApp plays in people's lives and we'll take every opportunity to explain how we protect people's personal messages and private information," the spokesperson added.

WhatsApp has been asked to withdraw its new privacy policy by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, which believes the changes in it and the manner of introducing them undermines data security, privacy and user choice.

A fresh communication was sent to WhatsApp on May 18 and the social media was given a week to respond.

WhatsApp had faced backlash over concerns that data was being shared with its parent company, Facebook – a possibility the social media platform has denied. While a chunk of users had switched to other social media platforms, the government had written to Will Cathcart, the Global CEO of WhatsApp, asking that the new policy for Indian users be withdrawn.

WhatsApp underscored that the proposed privacy policy is not meant to enhance data sharing but provide options to help businesses expand.

The new policy -- which allows sharing of user data with its parent company Facebook or third party apps -- was slated to come into effect in February but was deferred till May after the row.

The ministry, however, has asserted that deferral of the privacy policy beyond May 15, does not absolve WhatsApp from respecting the values of informational privacy, data security and user choice for Indian users.