Government asks Whatsapp to withdraw recent changes in privacy policy

The Government has asked WhatsApp to withdraw the recent changes in its privacy policy saying the unilateral changes are unfair and unacceptable. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has written a strongly worded letter to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart saying the proposed changes to the WhatsApp Terms of Service and Privacy Policy without giving users an option to opt-out, raise grave concerns regarding the implications for the choice and autonomy of Indian citizens.

The Ministry has asked WhatsApp to provide details of the services provided by it in India, categories of data collected and permissions and consents sought. WhatsApp has also been asked to explain if it conducts profiling of Indian users on the basis of their usage, as well as explain the difference between the privacy policy in India and other countries. WhatsApp has also been asked to provide policy on data and information security, privacy and encryption.