WhatsApp responds to Indian ministry, refuses to take back its policy but won't limit user accounts for now

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  • May 25,2021
  • 2 min read
  • 16

WhatsApp was recently directed by India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to withdraw its controversial privacy policy. MeitY had provided the Facebook-owned messaging giant with seven days to come up with a satisfactory response, failing which will prompt legal actions.

WhatsApp has now responded to the ministry where it has refused to take back its policy update claiming that it “does not change the privacy of people’s personal messages.” Furthermore, those users have not yet accepted the new policy, will get full functionality out of the app, but will be reminded about the policy until Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill comes into effect in India.

"We have responded to the Government of India’s letter and assured them that the privacy of users remains our highest priority. As a reminder, the recent update does not change privacy of people’s personal messages. Its purpose is to provide additional information about how people can interact with businesses if they choose to do so…We will not limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works in the coming weeks," a WhatsApp spokesperson said.

"Instead, we will continue to remind users about the update as well as when people choose to use relevant optional features, such as communicating with a business that is receiving support from Facebook…We hope this approach reinforces the choice that all users have whether or not they want to interact with a business. We will maintain this approach until at least the forthcoming PDP law comes into effect.”

Previously, WhatsApp had warned users of limited functionality if they fail to accept the policy update before May 15. However, the recent developments comes as a relief to those users, who are safe aatleast until the PDP bill comes into effect.


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