Government WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart withdraw privacy policy changes

Picture Supply : INDIA TV

Centre writes to WhatsApp CEO to withdraw proposed changes to privacy policy

Government of India, Ministry of Electronics and Data Know-how (MEITY) has written to Will Cathcart, International CEO of WhatsApp to withdraw the proposed changes to the Privacy Policy of the Fb-owned messaging software for Indian customers. The CEO has been requested to furnish responses to the federal government’s question relating to the privacy, knowledge switch, and sharing insurance policies, sources stated right now.

The Ministry raised considerations concerning the info safety of the customers as the brand new policy of WhatsApp proposes to share the metadata of customers’ chat with Enterprise accounts with different Fb firms. It could create a honeypot of details about customers with the Fb group which might create safety dangers and vulnerabilities for the customers.

MEITY additional objected to the “all-or-nothing” method of WhatsApp that forces customers to just accept the brand new service phrases and privacy insurance policies, with out giving an choice to the customers to opt-out of this proposed change of integrating consumer knowledge with different Fb firms.

Right here the Government has reminded WhatsApp concerning the rules of privacy and consent laid down by Supreme Courtroom within the Puttaswamy vs. Union of India (2017) judgment.

Ministry has additional requested WhatsApp as to why they’ve caused such important changes when the Parliament of India is already contemplating the Private Knowledge Safety Invoice.

This Invoice, which is at an advance stage of consideration by the Joint Choose Committee of each homes of the Parliament strongly follows the precept of “function limitation” with regard to the information processing. Goal Limitation merely implies that firms can use the information of customers just for that particular function which it has taken the consent of the customers. This huge integration of knowledge of Indian customers with different Fb firms would make it tough for WhatsApp to observe this precept, if this Invoice turns into a regulation quickly.

The Ministry has additionally objected to the differential privacy insurance policies for European Union and India.

On condition that India has the biggest consumer base for WhatsApp on this planet, this discriminatory remedy to Indian customers exhibits lack of respect for pursuits of Indian residents by WhatsApp. On this context, Government reminds WhatsApp that it has a sovereign proper to guard the pursuits of Indian residents and it shall not compromise on that at any value.

The federal government has additionally despatched a listing of 14 inquiries to WhatsApp looking for response on varied privacy and knowledge safety considerations.

The important thing questions are: 

  • Disclose the precise classes of knowledge that WhatsApp software collects from Indian customers.
  • Give particulars of the permissions and consumer consent sought by WhatsApp app and utility of every of those with respect to the functioning and particular service offered.
  •  Does WhatsApp conduct profiling of Indian customers on the premise of their utilization of software? What nature of profiling is performed?
  • Particulars of distinction between WhatsApp privacy insurance policies in different nations and India.
  • Particulars of Knowledge Safety Policy, Data Safety Policy, Cyber Safety Policy, Privacy Policy and Encryption Policy.
  • Does the WhatsApp app share knowledge with another app or enterprise unit of the identical firm or related firms? Share particulars of the information circulate amongst these apps, enterprise items or related firms.
  • Does the WhatsApp app seize the details about the opposite apps operating on the cellular system of the consumer? If sure, what info is being captured by the app and what function is it being collected and used?
  • Particulars concerning the server when knowledge of Indian customers is transmitted or hosted.
  • Has the corporate or software offered any entry to a 3rd celebration to entry a consumer’s private knowledge? If sure, then share these particulars.

(With ANI inputs)

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