Government writes to WhatsApp to withdraw its new policy from India

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on January 19, 2021

Honeypot of information about users is dangerous, says MeitY

The government has written to Chief Executive Officer of WhatsApp, Will Cathcart to respect the informational privacy and data security of Indian users and asked it to withdraw its latest Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

In the letter, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has also sent a detailed questionnaire to WhatsApp seeking details about its data sharing protocols and business practices. BusinessLine has seen the letter.

The letter mentions that through the latest policies, WhatsApp has notified users that it will collect vast amount of highly invasive and granular metadata from their chats with business accounts and share it with other Facebook companies.

MeitY said creating ‘honeypot of information about users is dangerous’.

Also read: WhatsApp put up its own status on privacy issues

“With this, any meaningful distinction between WhatsApp and Facebook companies will cease to exist. Given the huge user base of WhatsApp and Facebook in India, the consolidation of this sensitive information also exposes a very large segment of Indian citizens to greater security risks and vulnerabilities creating a honeypot of information,” it wrote.

Last week, the government had said that it was examining WhatsApp’s latest policy and will step in if required, as data security and national security are the utmost priority of the government.

Published on January 19, 2021

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