Govt steps into WhatsApp row, ‘examining’ data-sharing update | India News

NEW DELHI: The authorities has stepped into the raging privateness controversy over WhatsApp’s newest update and has began an “examination” of the brand new mandate that the corporate has requested customers to conform to by February 8. “We are collecting details,” official sources instructed TOI, in a sign that the federal government is conserving a watch over the considerations round potential privateness violations in WhatsApp’s new updates that entails sharing sure enterprise/transactional knowledge with Facebook, the dad or mum of the world’s greatest messenger.
WhatsApp’s new privateness phrases give it the proper to share consumer knowledge, together with location, telephone quantity, contacts checklist and utilization sample, with Facebook and its items comparable to Instagram and Messenger. The transfer has been questioned by privateness advocates, entrepreneurs comparable to Tesla founder Elon Musk, and sure authorities businesses overseas, citing Facebook’s poor observe report in dealing with consumer knowledge.

Sources stated the federal government’s concern stems from a wide range of elements, together with the ‘regulatory vacuum’ within the knowledge safety area in India within the absence of a knowledge safety legislation within the nation. A invoice for an information legislation is within the Parliament, however a legislation could also be someday away.
“Also, the privacy update sought by WhatsApp in user agreement in European Union is seen as lenient while in India it is wide-ranging and may have terms that may potentially harm user privacy,” the official supply stated.

An in depth questionnaire despatched to WhatsApp didn’t get any response.
The authorities has already had many run-ins with WhatsApp and Facebook over a number of issues, together with on the Cambridge Analytica knowledge leak matter (the place a CBI inquiry is on) and relating to the spate of lynching incidents that have been blamed on the unfold of faux messaging on WhatsApp. The messenger at the moment had downright refused to pay heed to the federal government’s request to assist disclose/establish the supply of pretend, inflammatory messages, saying its consumer chats are absolutely encrypted.
The present situation is being mentioned on the highest stage within the IT Ministry, and any motion or step on the matter might be taken solely after that.
The authorities may search sure explanations from WhatsApp relating to the proposed modifications, although the corporate didn’t reply TOI’s queries to this impact.

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