Conveyed to Indian govt our commitment to protect privacy of personal conversations, says WhatsApp


Hours after asserting the choice to go forward with its controversial privacy coverage replace, WhatsApp on Friday mentioned it has conveyed to the Indian authorities that it stays dedicated to safety of privacy of personal conversations throughout the nation. Last month, the messaging app had confronted a volley of questions from the Indian authorities after it knowledgeable customers that it was updating its privacy coverage beneath which it might share restricted consumer information with Facebook and its group companies.

The backlash and customers choosing rival apps Telegram and Signal, prompted WhatsApp to delay the rollout to May however on Friday, the corporate mentioned the coverage shall be rolled out however the platform will permit customers to learn it at “their own pace”.

WhatsApp may even present a banner providing extra info on the replace.

“Due to misinformation and based on feedback from our users, we have pushed back the timeline of acceptance of WhatsApp’s terms of service and privacy policy to the 15th of May. In the meantime, we continue to engage with the government and are grateful for the opportunity to answer questions that we received from them,” WhatsApp mentioned in an e-mailed assertion to .

It added that the corporate has conveyed that it continues to protect the privacy of personal conversations throughout India and be certain that the platform stays protected and safe for everybody to interact on.

In a blogpost on Friday, WhatsApp mentioned it can show a banner within the app within the coming weeks “providing more information that people can read at their own pace”.

“We’ve also included more information to try and address concerns we’re hearing. Eventually, we’ll start reminding people to review and accept these updates to keep using WhatsApp,” the Facebook-owned firm mentioned.

WhatsApp additionally mentioned the brand new in-app notification appears completely different from the one customers noticed in January and that has been redesigned based mostly on suggestions from customers.

“…but the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy remain the same. As a reminder, this update does not change the privacy of people’s personal conversations and does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook,” WhatsApp mentioned.

Amid considerations raised by customers on the difficulty, the Indian authorities had in January requested WhatsApp to withdraw the modifications, saying unilateral modifications are unfair and unacceptable.

The authorities had contended that not giving customers an possibility to decide out raised “grave concerns regarding the implications for the choice and autonomy of Indian citizens”. It had additionally questioned why Indian customers are being subjected to differential remedy when put next to their European counterparts the place the modifications don’t apply.

WhatsApp has clarified that individuals who have not accepted the privacy coverage after May 15 can nonetheless obtain calls and get notifications, however they’re going to want to agree to the replace to ship messages.

It added that in accordance with its insurance policies, consumer accounts will stay lively to permit folks to settle for the brand new phrases of service and updates.

Issues starting from provocative and inflammatory content material to misinformation to information breaches have positioned social media firms together with Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter on the road of fireplace over the previous many months.

The Indian authorities has confronted these firms on a number of events and asserted that they want to adjust to the principles of the land and crackdown on misuse of their platforms.

Intermediary tips, which applies to digital platforms like Facebook and Twitter, are within the closing phases and are anticipated to be introduced quickly. The proposed guidelines intention to curb misuse of social media by probably tightening the timelines for taking motion on malicious content material, and lift the accountability of digital platforms to customers and Indian legislation.

WhatsApp has about 2 billion customers globally, with India – as its largest market – having over 400 million customers.

In its blogpost on Friday, WhatsApp mentioned it can do way more to make its “voice clear going forward” and added that it had beforehand used the ‘Status’ function to share info across the replace.

“As a reminder, we’re building new ways to chat or shop with a business on WhatsApp that are entirely optional. Personal messages will always be end-to-end encrypted, so WhatsApp can’t read or listen to them,” it famous.

WhatsApp additionally highlighted that providers to customers on the platform stay free and it fees companies to present customer support on its platform.

It mentioned some buying options contain Facebook, so that companies can handle their stock throughout apps and that it’s going to show extra info instantly in WhatsApp so folks can select if they need to interact with companies or not.

Concerned in regards to the privacy of their information, many customers are flocking to rival messaging platforms resembling Signal and Telegram – pushing the downloads of these apps into tens of millions.

WhatsApp sought to play down the development. “During this time, we understand some people may check out other apps to see what they have to offer. We’ve seen some of our competitors try to get away with claiming they can’t see people’s messages – if an app doesn’t offer end-to-end encryption by default that means they can read your messages,” it mentioned.

Without naming any rival, WhatsApp mentioned “people are looking for apps to be both reliable and safe, even if that requires WhatsApp having some limited data”.

“We strive to be thoughtful on the decisions we make and we’ll continue to develop new ways of meeting these responsibilities with less information, not more,” it added.

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