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Govt asks Whatsapp to withdraw recent changes in privacy policy, saying unilateral changes are unfair and unacceptable

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.

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.

It said, India is home to the largest user base of WhatsApp globally and is one of the biggest markets for its services. The IT Ministry has asked WhatsApp to withdraw the proposed changes and reconsider its approach to information privacy, freedom of choice and data security.

It said, with over 400 million users in India, the changes will have a disproportionate impact on the country’s 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.

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