WhatsApp remove privacy policy but concerns remain the same, say experts

The decision by WhatsApp to delay the adoption of its revised privacy policy by three months alone would not be enough to alleviate the issues posed by the latest policy or the broader problem of data sharing and violation of privacy, experts said.

WhatsApp has said in a blog post yesterday that its revised privacy policy is only available to people interacting via a company account. This, experts said, not only points fingers at how and why the privacy policy does not testify to the same but also how even when communicating with a company account, the right of a person to data security and privacy should not be violated.

whatsapp put status

Facebook-owned WhatsApp said in a blog post on January 15 that consumer accounts would not be suspended or removed by February 8 – as suggested by the revised privacy policy on January 4.

“We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation about how WhatsApp works for privacy and security,” it added.

In terms of personal conversations, little is changing, it added, adding that the “update includes new options that people will have to report to a company on WhatsApp, and provides more transparency on how we collect and use data.”

All BusinessLine experts agreed to conclude that a successful initial phase is the decision to wait. Prasanth Sugathan, legal director of the digital rights group, SFLC.in., said that the ‘take it or leave it’ strategy would not suit when the corporation claims privacy and protection is in its DNA.

However, the revised privacy policy of WhatsApp, which was made known to the public on January 4, does not specify that the updates are applied only to all people who have a business account or connect with a business account.  

Personal Data

Whatsapp new policy

The guidelines for drafting the Personal Data Privacy Bill were submitted by an advisory committee headed by retired Justice BN Srikrishna in 2018. Three years later, even though the Supreme Court ruled privacy a constitutional right in 2017, the new bill has still not been enacted.

Although WhatsApp resorts to a brief pause, the course of what they set out to do with the current privacy policy is not changing, Chima said. “They do not seem to really pay attention to the data protection concerns of Indians – not just the law, but also what daily users seem to be very profoundly affected by,” he said.

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