The government has sent 14 questions to WhatsApp seeking the Facebook-owned messaging app's answers on key questions about privacy and data security of users in India, sources have said. India is WhatsApp's biggest market. The messaging app has postponed its data-sharing policy change after users concerned about privacy fled the service and flocked to rivals Telegram and Signal.
Nine of the 14 questions and points that the government sent to WhatsApp, according to sources, are:
1. Disclose the exact categories of data that WhatsApp application collects from users in India.
2. Give details of permissions and user consent sought by WhatsApp app and utility of each of these with respect to the functioning and specific service provided.
3. Does WhatsApp conduct profiling of Indian users on the basis of their usage of application? What is the nature of profiling if conducted?
4. Details of difference between WhatsApp privacy policies in other countries and India.
6. Does WhatsApp share data with any other app or business unit of the same company or associated companies? Share details of the data flow among these apps, business units or associated companies.
7. Does WhatsApp capture information about other apps running on mobile device of the user? If yes, what information is being captured by the app and what purpose is it being collected and used?
8. Details about server when data of users in India is transmitted or hosted.
9. Has the company or application provided any access to a third-party to user's personal data? If yes, then share those details.