afaqs! news bureau
Media

Indian government responds to WhatsApp's new privacy policy

WhatsApp also announced on its blog that the app would be moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms.

The Delhi High Court has stated that accepting the new privacy policy of social messaging app WhatsApp was a "voluntary" thing and a it is a user's discretion whether they want to use that platform or not if one did not agree with its terms and conditions.

PTI reported that the central government also agreed with the court that the issue needs to be analysed. WhatsApp and Facebook were represented in court by senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Mukul Rohatgi. The advocates mentioned to the court that the plea was not maintainable and many of the issues raised in it were without any foundation.

The advocates further emphasised to the court that private chat messages between family and friends would remain encrypted and cannot be stored by WhatsApp; this position would not change under the new policy. They stressed that the change in policy would only affect the business chats on WhatsApp. The petition, by a lawyer, has contended that the updated privacy policy violates users right to privacy under the Constitution.

WhatsApp also announced on its blog that the app would be moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8.

"We're also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15," read the post.

WhatsApp helped bring end-to-end encryption to people across the world and we are committed to defending this security technology now and in the future. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us and to so many who have helped spread facts and stop rumors. We will continue to put everything we have into making WhatsApp the best way to communicate privately.