Thursday, October 28, 2021
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WhatsApp won’t limit user accounts in India for the time being

India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) recently sent a notice to WhatsApp, asking the service to withdraw its controversial privacy policy. The government body gave the Facebook-owned messenger seven days to come up with a “satisfactory” response, or it would take prompt legal measures against the platform.

In its response, WhatsApp has now told the Indian government that it won’t withdraw its privacy policy as it “does not change the privacy of people’s personal messages.” The company has also clarified that it won’t limit functionality for users who choose not to access its new privacy policy, and it will continue reminding them about the policy at least until India’s upcoming Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill comes into effect (via Live Mint).

A WhatsApp spokesperson further said, “We have responded to the Government of India’s letter and assured them that the privacy of users remains our highest priority. As a reminder, the recent update does not change 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 about the update as well as when people choose to use relevant optional features, such as 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.”

WhatsApp had previously said that while it won’t immediately delete user accounts for not accepting the privacy policy after the May 15th deadline, it would gradually limit functionality after the deadline. But users won’t have to worry about limited functionality now, at least until India’s PDP Bill comes into effect.

Have you accepted WhatsApp’s new privacy policy? If not, will you continue using WhatsApp now that it won’t limit functionality? Let us know in the comments section below.

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