WhatsApp has been told to withdraw its privacy changes by the Indian government

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WhatsApp has been told to withdraw its privacy changes by the Indian government
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  • The Indian government has asked WhatsApp to withdraw its new privacy policy update.
  • The government has also come down hard on the Facebook-owned messaging app for forcing users to accept the changes.
  • The government has also expressed its concern over the differential treatment between India and Europe.
In another blow to WhatsApp, the Indian government has come down hard on the Facebook-owned messaging app over its upcoming privacy policy and terms of service changes.

As per a report, the Indian government in a letter to WhatsApp's CEO Will Cathcart has sent a list of questions to WhatsApp and has also asked the company to withdraw the privacy policy update and to respect the “informational privacy and data security of Indian users.”

Soon after WhatsApp announced that it is updating its privacy policy, it faced a lot of backlash from users and was also hit with a lawsuit in the Delhi High Court. An earlier report had suggested that WhatsApp may soon be called upon by the Indian government over its new privacy policy.

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The government in its letter has asked WhatsApp to take immediate steps to resolve the issue.

New privacy policy will expose Indian users to security risks



The government has said that the new privacy policy from WhatsApp exposes Indian users to “greater security risks and vulnerabilities creating a honeypot of information,” the source told TOI.

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All-or-nothing approach questioned



WhatsApp had earlier informed that those users who do not agree to its new privacy policies will not be able to use the app after February 8. The government has questioned this ‘all-or-nothing’ approach and said that this takes away any meaningful choice from Indian users.

Government questions differential policy



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The Indian government has question why WhatsApp is offering a lenient policy in Europe and being stringent in India. It added that this is discriminatory for Indian users.

“Differential and discriminatory treatment of Indian and European users is attracting serious criticism and shows lack of respect for the rights and interests of Indian citizens,” said the source.

“Such a differential treatment is prejudicial to the interests of Indian users and is viewed with serious concern by the government,” the source added.

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WhatsApp responds, says company available to answer questions



A day after Indian government sent a letter to WhatsApp, the company has responded.

"We wish to reinforce that this update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook. Our aim is to provide transparency and new options available to engage with businesses so they can serve their customers and grow," a WhatsApp spokesperson said.

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"We are working to address misinformation and remain available to answer any questions," the spokesperson further added.

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