WhatsApp takes more heat in India - Mobile World Live

WhatsApp takes more heat in India

24 MAR 2021

The competition watchdog of India initiated a probe into a controversial privacy policy update planned by WhatsApp, arguing the Facebook subsidiary violated local legislation.

In an order issued today (24 March), the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said its investigation will look to “ascertain the full extent, scope and impact of data sharing through involuntary consent” of users resulting from the update.

The authority claimed WhatsApp contravened domestic laws through “exploitative and exclusionary conduct” contained in a policy update.

Additionally, the CCI claimed WhatsApp’s update would generate competition risks through potential quality reduction and ability for Facebook to “reinforce” its position, even in unrelated markets such as display advertising.

The move is India’s second against the planned update, following a move by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology pressing WhatsApp to drop the plan and reconsider its data privacy policies.

WhatsApp initially planned to implement its updated policy in early February but delayed the move following a backlash. The company blamed this on “misinformation” around the planned changes, which it explained involve interaction with businesses on the platform rather than a wholesale change in data collection.



Yanitsa Boyadzhieva

Yanitsa joins Mobile World Live as a Reporter based in London. She has more than 5 years’ experience at various media outlets in her home country Bulgaria. She started her career as a political reporter, followed by taking editor roles...

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