In a letter to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart, the Indian government pointed out that the Indian users are being subjected to differential treatment when compared to their European counterparts



The Indian government has asked WhatsApp to withdraw the proposed changes to its privacy policy stating that the changes raise “grave concerns” regarding the implications for the choice and autonomy of Indian citizens.

In a letter to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart, the Indian government pointed out that the Indian users, who have not been given the option to opt-out of data sharing with Facebook companies, are being subjected to differential treatment when compared to their European counterparts.

“Whether this [the new policy] will enable better provision of service to users or not is besides the point, the issue is the impact it has on informational privacy, data security and user choice,” the letter said.

It also added that sovereign independence of India’s distinct identity and its people must be properly respected and any unilateral changes to WhatsApp Terms of Service and Privacy would not be fair and acceptable.

The government also asked the Facebook-owned platform to reconsider its approach to respect the informational privacy, freedom of choice and data security of Indian citizens.

“The privacy policy offered by WhatsApp to its European users specifically prohibits the use of any information shared with a Facebook company for that companies’ own purposes, while this Clause is not present in the privacy policy offered to Indian users."

"This differential and discriminatory treatment of Indian and European users is attracting serious criticism and betrays a lack of respect for the rights and interest of Indian citizens, who form a substantial portion of WhatsApp’s user base."

Source - The Hindu


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