Facebook Inc. owned WhatsApp has been under a lot of criticism from the past few weeks and recently, a few days back the government of India chose to get involved in the matter, seeking an explanation from the instant messaging company on what it termed as ‘differential treatment. This terminology was used in reference to one point that privacy policies implied by the company in Europe for its users are less stringent than it is implied in India.
In recent events, WhatsApp responded back to clarifications asked by the Indian government. The company said that the issue was between the Indian Government and WhatsApp and its parent entity, Facebook Inc. So, unless the law is put in place, there is nothing that the instant messaging company can do, as mentioned in several reports.
As mentioned in a report by The Indian Express, at the time of the hearing, the court explicitly mentioned that WhatsApp was a voluntary service and that people can choose not to use its services. In the same breath, the court also stated that the terms and conditions of other applications are also similar to WhatsApp but they openly share user information with others. Thus, the court stated its point.
Unless that law is put in place, there is nothing that the company can do, said Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal (representing WhatsApp). He further added in his statement that once the law is put in place, the regulatory authority will also come in place.
WhatsApp and Facebook Inc. have certainly put forward their new privacy policies in the most monopolistic way as there is an absence of a proper regulatory body. For European users, the government has in place a comprehensive legal body that has implied data protection laws for their state, say experts familiar with the matter.