Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) gave WhatsApp a seven-day ultimatum. If no satisfactory response is received, necessary steps in consonance with the law will be taken, said ministry sources.
"The Government of India will consider various options available under the laws in India," government sources told ANI.
The official further said, "As you're doubtlessly aware, many Indian citizens depend on WhatsApp to communicate in everyday life. It is not just problematic, but also irresponsible for WhatsApp to leverage this position to impose unfair terms and conditions on Indian users, particularly those that discriminate against Indian users vis-à-vis users in Europe."
The letter reiterated how WhatsApp discriminated against Indian users as compared to Europeans. It stated that while European users had the option to opt out of the policy, Indian users did not enjoy the same right.
Soon after, the messaging platform responded, saying, “We continue to engage with the government and we reaffirm what we said before that this update does not impact the privacy of personal messages for anyone.”
“Our goal is to provide information about new options we are building that people will have, to message a business on WhatsApp, in the future,”Statement from WhatsApp
The company said that while the majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them, it appreciated that some people haven’t had the chance to do so yet.
“No accounts were deleted on May 15 because of this update and no one in India lost functionality of WhatsApp either. We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks,” a spokesperson said.
“We’re grateful for the important role WhatsApp plays in people’s lives and we’ll take every opportunity to explain how we protect people’s personal messages and private information,” the statement further read.
(With inputs from ANI.)
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