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WhatsApp tricking users into adopting its new privacy policies: says Govt

It seems that the tug of war between the government and WhatsApp is not over yet. As the latest development in privacy policies which was introduced around in January this year is now stretched up to Delhi HC. The Centre claims that WhatsApp engages in anti-user tactics by seeking ‘trick consent’ from users for its amended privacy policy, according to a new document filed with the Delhi High Court.

The Centre further included that WhatsApp has “unleashed its digital prowess to the unsuspecting existing users and would like to force them to accept the updated 2021 privacy policy by flashing such notifications at regular intervals”.

“The game plan is very clear, i.e., to transfer the entire existing user base committed to updated 2021 privacy policy before the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill becomes law,” the affidavit added.

In Lok Sabha in December 2019, the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill was introduced which aims to provide protection of privacy of individuals and to their personal data. It, however, hasn’t become a law yet.

The Centre has also claimed that WhatsApp’s privacy policy is in violation of the 2011 Information Technology Rules. 

In response to it, a WhatsApp spokesperson said, “We reiterate that we have already responded to the Government of India and assured them that the privacy of users remains our highest priority. As a reminder, the recent update does not change the privacy of people’s personal messages. Its purpose is to provide additional information about how people can interact with businesses if they choose to do so. We will not limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works in the coming weeks. Instead, we will continue to remind users from time to time about the update as well as when people choose to use relevant optional features, like communicating with a business that is receiving support from Facebook. We hope this approach reinforces the choice that all users have whether or not they want to interact with a business. We will maintain this approach until at least the forthcoming PDP law comes into effect.”

Through the affidavit, it has also been asked not to apply the new policies and terms till the matter is not solved and also not to send “pushing notifications” to the current WhatsApp users about the policy changes.

The affidavit was produced in response to a suit filed by Harsha Gupta, a lawyer, contesting WhatsApp’s revised privacy policy.

Sanskriti

Sanskriti loves technology in general and ensures to keep TheDigitalHacker audience aware of the latest trends, updates, and data breaches.
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