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Government concerned about WhatsApp’s differential treatment with Indian users


Source: Business Today

As we are all aware of WhatsApp’s new terms of service and privacy policies over its integration with the parent organisation, Facebook Inc., there have been not so many happy users with this decision of the instant messaging service.

As soon as the news hit the market, social media flooded with security concerns and memes, privacy activists and users have been constantly criticising the company for sharing user information which is supposed to be ‘end-to-end’ encrypted with Facebook Inc.

The controversial update has definitely caught the attention of the Indian government and according to latest reports, India is not happy with WhatsApp’s new policy update. Yes! There have been confirmed reports that the Indian government has asked WhatsApp to withdraw its controversial update from Indian users as it could become a greater risk of security and privacy.

According to a report by Times of India, the government has penned down a letter to WhatsApp Chief Executive Officer, Will Cathcart wherein mentioned is a long list of questions regarding the controversial update and the issue. Sources suggest that the letter also contains a significant allegation of ‘differential treatment’ with Indian users as the update for Europe is much lenient as compared to India for Indian users.

WhatsApp and Facebook Inc. have been asked to take immediate action on the matter to sort things out. The letter was a clear indication that the Indian government is not at all content with the social media giant’s new terms of service and privacy policy. As mentioned in a report by Times of India, the letter also says that accepting these updates could put Indian users under security threats and vulnerabilities that would eventually create a honeypot of information which is not what the government would want for its citizens.

The government also stated its concerns over the company’s ‘take it or leave it’ approach wherein if the user does not accept the new terms and conditions, the complete ‘bouquet’ of services for such users would be terminated. This leaves users with no choice but to accept the new terms which at large is a miscommunicated decision imposed by the companies on its users.

As reports have suggested, the terms of service updates and privacy policies are lenient for WhatsApp users in Europe as compared to India and the government questions this disregard for Indian users. This differential and discriminatory treatment for Indian users is attracting a much larger criticism once that it is out there. The government says that this shows the company’s lack of respect for Indian citizens.

The letter asks WhatsApp and Facebook to withdraw these new policy updates for Indian users and take immediate action on the matter.



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