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WhatsApp privacy policy: Government highlights differential treatment between European & Indian users

It is considering issues of data privacy in light of the new policy

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KOLKATA: The central government is considering issues of data privacy in light of the new WhatsApp privacy policy, it has informed the Delhi high court. It has already sent a communication to WhatsApp to respond to queries in this regard.

Additional solicitor general Chetan Sharma said that the differential treatment between European and Indian users in terms of the policy is another cause of concern for the government. While European users have the option to opt-out of the privacy policy, Indian users have to accept the policy forcefully.

"WhatsApp prima facie seems to be treating the (Indian) users with an all-or-nothing approach. This leverages the social significance of WhatsApp to force users into a bargain which may infringe (on privacy and data security)," he added.

He also informed that the Data Protection Bill is being discussed by the joint parliamentary committee and the Facebook-owned messenger app has been asked to respond to the government.

Delhi HC remarked that it is a voluntary app and one can choose not to use the platform. A petition was filed against Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp recently claims that the new WhatsApp privacy policy violates the Right to Privacy guaranteed under the Part III of the Indian constitution. The next hearing has been scheduled for 1 March.

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