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No accounts will be deleted because of the new update, says WhatsApp

India is WhatsApp’s largest market with over 400 million subscribers.

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New Delhi: Facebook owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp has clarified that it will not delete Indian user accounts that do not accept its new privacy policy.

The app had earlier told users that if they do not accept the new update by 15 May, they would lose access to their accounts.

“No accounts will be deleted on 15 May because of this update and no one in India will lose functionality of WhatsApp either. We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks," said the messenger in a statement.

The controversial privacy policy was initially expected to come into effect on 8 February but was later deferred to 15 May amid severe backlash from users. The app plans to make it mandatory for users to agree to its new data-sharing norms, a key point of which is allegedly sharing data from WhatsApp business chats with third-party apps including its parent Facebook. 

India is WhatsApp’s largest market with over 400 million subscribers.

The messaging platform has previously tried to assure users that the privacy update – which is for users of its business services – does not compromise its end-to-end encryption.

“We’ve spent the last few months working to clear up confusion and misinformation. As a reminder this update does not impact the privacy of personal messages for anyone," WhatsApp said recently.

Meanwhile, the Delhi high court has sought a response from the government as well as Facebook and WhatsApp on a petition that challenged the new policy. The court has issued notices to the Centre, Facebook and WhatsApp and sought their stand on the petition by 13 May – two days before the policy comes into effect.

Earlier, the court had dismissed the plea filed by Facebook and WhatsApp challenging the Competition Commission of India (CCI) order directing a probe into its controversial new privacy policy. According to CCI, WhatsApp's new privacy policy would lead to excessive data collection and "stalking" of consumers for targeted advertising to bring in more users and is therefore an alleged abuse of dominant position.

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