Info-tech

Traders’ body objects to WhatsApp's new policy

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 10, 2021

Writes to Minister to restrict WhatsApp

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has strongly objected to the new Whatsapp privacy policy through which all kinds of personal data, payment transactions, contacts, location and other vital information of a person using WhatsApp will be acquired by it and could be used for any purpose by it.

In a communication sent to the Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, CAIT has demanded that government immediately restrict WhatsApp from implementing the new policy or put a ban on WhatsApp and its parent company Facebook.

Facebook has more than 320 million users in India and enabling it to access data about every user by a company can pose serious threats to not only the economy, but even to the security of the country.

It reminds us of the days of the East India Company, who entered India to trade salt but invaded the country. At this time it is data which is very crucial to wreck the backbone of the economy and the social structure, it said in a statement.

 

"The Facebook-WhatsApp combine has shown their true colours by first facilitating Indians to use Facebook and WhatsApp without any charge, but are now seeking access to data, its ultimate object seems to control trade and the economy of India beside other hidden agenda," it said.

WhatsApp is to implement its changed Privacy Policy in India from next month, which will force people using WhatsApp to accept the changed terms if they want to avail of the usage of WhatsApp, or else they will have to delete WhatsApp from their mobile.

“The changed privacy policy of WhatsApp is an encroachment on the privacy of an individual and runs against the basic fundamentals of the Constitution of India and therefore the CAIT has demanded immediate intervention of the government," CAIT National President B. C. Bhartia and Secretary General, Praveen Khandelwal, said in a joint statement.

They said that in its new privacy policy, WhatsApp is forcing the user to accept the new terms and its a common phenomenon that most of them without reading the terms would just go ahead and accept it without realising what WhatsApp is changing under the new terms.

It does not give the user a choice to stay on the platform without accepting the revised terms, which is also an encroachment on the independence of a person. "How can a company operating in India force users to accept its arbitrary and one sided terms," questioned the trade leaders.

Bhartia and Khandelwal said that what they could understand is that Whatsapp aims to obtain more data about each user, which will enable it to get to know the account information, including phone number, address book information, status information, also all the data on transactions and payments and this data may be linked with its new application, WhatsApp payments.

It will be disastrous if this data is used by both WhatsApp and Facebook for various purposes, including the enablement of Facebook to use data with an e-commerce portal or compromising data with various companies to earn commercial benefits. Facebook being the parent company of WhatsApp will be able to access all such data, they added.

 

Published on January 10, 2021

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