WhatsApp responds saying it will not delete users’ accounts; will continue to remind users about new policy | #socialmedia

Social messaging platform WhatsApp on Monday has said it will not delete users’ accounts even if they do not accept the new Privacy Policy but added that it will continue to remind users about the change in the policy.

In a response to government’s letter, the Facebook-owned company said, “We will not limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works in the coming weeks. Instead, we will continue to remind users from time to time about the update as well as when people choose to use relevant optional features, like communicating with a business that is receiving support from Facebook.”

India warns ‘action’ if WhatsApp does not roll back privacy policy

‘No change in privacy policy’

The development comes after Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) last week (May 18) directing the company to take back its new Privacy Policy.

The spokesperson, meanwhile, added that “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 Personal Data Protection (PDP) law comes into effect.”

MeitY had, last week, told the company to withdraw its privacy policy and had given seven days’ time (till May 25) to respond to its notice and added that if no satisfactory response is received, ‘necessary steps in consonance with law’ will be taken.

“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 the 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,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.

The company had, earlier, claimed that it officially deferred its new Privacy Policy beyond May 15. However, the Ministry in its communication stated 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.

The new Privacy Policy was to be enforced from May 15.

Taking up the issue of discriminatory treatment to Indian users vis-à-vis users in Europe, the Ministry last week wrote that, “As you are doubtlessly aware, many Indian citizens depend on WhatsApp to communicate in everyday life. It is not just problematic, but also irresponsible, for WhatsApp to leverage this position to impose unfair terms and conditions on Indian users, particularly those that discriminate against Indian users vis-à-vis users in Europe.”

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