WhatsApp won’t limit app features if you don’t accept new privacy policy


WhatsApp has been in a tug of war with the Indian Government over the app’s new privacy policy for months now. After an initial February date was delayed further till May 15, WhatsApp had announced that users who would not accept the new terms would be able to continue to use the app but will face gradually increasing limitations moving forward.

Now, new developments suggest that this will not be the case. “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,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement.

“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,” the statement further added. PDP here refers to the Personal Data Protection bill, 2019.

Privacy of users remains our highest priority, says WhatsApp

The statement also mentioned that the app will not be changing its outlook on user data privacy with the new update, but will only provide “additional information about how people can interact with businesses if they choose to do so.” “We have responded to the Government of India’s letter and assured them that the privacy of users remains our highest priority,” the statement adds.

MeitY threatens WhatsApp with legal action

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had last week warned WhatsApp once again to roll back its latest update in the privacy policy. The Ministry also warned of legal action if it does not get a satisfactory reply from the app by May 25.

The move marked the first time that the Ministry has warned WhatsApp of legal action, saying that it would pursue all legal options available to it, “to protect the sovereign rights of Indian citizens.”

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