Social Media

WhatsApp puts off privacy policy, but concerns remain

Nandana James Mumbai | Updated on January 16, 2021

WhatsApp’s move to delay the implementation of its updated privacy policy by three months is not sufficient to alleviate the concerns raised by the plan or the larger issue of data sharing and privacy breach, said experts.

In a blog post on Friday, WhatsApp said its updated privacy policy is only applicable to users communicating with a business account. This, the experts said, not only points fingers at how and why its privacy policy does not attest to the same, but also how an individual’s right to data protection and privacy right cannot be compromised even whilst communicating with a business account.

The decision to delay the implementation is a good initial step, said experts. The ‘take it or leave it’ approach doesn't fit when the company says that privacy and security are in its DNA, said Prasanth Sugathan, legal director of digital rights organisation SFLC.in.

Personal conversations

Nothing is changing with respect to personal conversations, WhatsApp had said in its blogpost.

Even if the new privacy policy is only applicable to those with a business account on WhatsApp or those communicating with a business account, it doesn't mean that you lose your individual right to data protection and privacy, said Raman Jit Singh Chima, Asia Policy Director and Senior International Counsel at Access Now.

Moreover, a delay is not the same thing as listening to users and engaging in open consultations and moving towards changes, cautioned Chima.

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Published on January 16, 2021
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