Working to address misinformation, available to answer any questions: WhatsApp

The statement follows Indian government's diktat to the platform to withdraw the recent changes in its privacy policy

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jan 20, 2021 5:35 PM
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WhatsApp has said that it is working to address misinformation and remain available to answer any questions following the Indian government's diktat to the platform to withdraw the recent changes in its privacy policy.

“We wish to reinforce that this update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook. Our aim is to provide transparency and new options available to engage with businesses so they can serve their customers and grow. WhatsApp will always protect personal messages with end-to-end encryption so that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see them. We are working to address misinformation and remain available to answer any questions," a WhatsApp spokesperson told Mint in a statement.

In a letter to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had said that the platform should respect the informational privacy, freedom of choice and data security of Indian citizens. MeitY had also asked WhatsApp to respond to critical queries on its privacy and data policy within a week.

WhatsApp had unveiled the updated privacy policy on January 6 and had asked its users to sign up for the new policy, failing which they will be unable to use the messaging service from February 8.

This raised concerns among users over privacy and data security since the new policy envisages sharing WhatsApp data with Facebook and other third party platforms. This led to a surge in demand for other messaging platforms like Signal and Telegram as users were looking for a more secure alternative to WhatsApp.

However, the backlash forced WhatsApp to defer the implementation of the new policy to May 2021. WhatsApp has been reiterating that the new privacy policy does not affect the privacy of messages with friends and family as those are encrypted and the changes only relate to interactions with businesses.

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