As per reports, which claim that the ministry of electronics and information technology has written to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart, the government is looking at the updated policy as unilateral changes that are not fair and acceptable. India is home to the largest user base of WhatsApp globally, with over 400 Mn users.
The ministry has asked WhatsApp to withdraw the proposed changes and reconsider its approach to information privacy, freedom of choice and data security, but no official has been named on record as saying so. It remains to be seen whether this is indeed the government’s action plan.
What Is India’s IT Ministry Asking WhatsApp?
As per MoneyControl, the Indian IT ministry has asked WhatsApp to disclose the exact categories of data that it collects from Indian users, details about the permissions and user consent sought for such data collection and the utility of the data for providing the specific service. The government has also questioned WhatsApp on whether it conducts profiling of Indian users on the basis of their usage of the application and the nature of any such profiling. Further, WhatsApp has been asked to furnish details on the differences in WhatsApp privacy policies in other countries and India, among other information about its operations and the technology it uses.