India pushes WhatsApp to drop controversial update - Mobile World Live

India pushes WhatsApp to drop controversial update

20 JAN 2021

India’s IT ministry demanded WhatsApp shelve a planned update to its privacy policy and urged it to reconsider its approach to data privacy, security and freedom of choice for its more than 400 million users in the country, Reuters reported.

In a statement sent to WhatsApp global head Will Cathcart, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology expressed concern over the potential impact on consumer “choice and autonomy”, the news agency wrote.

The ministry accused WhatsApp of “differential and discriminatory” treatment between Indian and European users, which are not subject to the amendments.

India is not alone in criticising the planned changes, which WhatsApp began informing users of earlier this month. Opponents believe the amendments are an attempt by the messenger business to share more user information with parent Facebook.

WhatsApp delayed its original implementation plan from 8 February to 15 May due to what it branded misinformation and user confusion.

It told Reuters the change is designed to make it easier for users to deal with businesses on the platform, explaining the move would not result in more data being shared with Facebook and communications would remain encrypted.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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