Monday, 25 January, 2021

Govt Examining WhatsApp's User Policy Changes Amid Privacy Debate

Image from Signal website Image from Signal website
Cecil Davis | 14 January, 2021, 20:18

This change in WhatsApp's policy will allow it to share users data with Facebook.

"The regulator will engage with Facebook after the completion of the analysis".

Telegram said on Wednesday it had surpassed 500 million active users globally.

"We can't see your private messages or hear your calls, and neither can Facebook. And really, we're not seeing it stop", he said. WhatsApp is free, it uses internet connection via WiFi or Data connection, and offers to message and calling, available on phones all over the world. He subsequently co-founded Signal in 2014 with Moxie Marlinspike.

Cathcart argued that some apps claim to have end-to-end encryption for group chats, and do no such thing.

The popular messaging platform WhatsApp is updating its terms and conditions section in an attempt to further promote Facebook integration.

According to the company, these changes will officially come into effect from 8 February.

A copy of the petition, seen by Reuters, said Whatsapp was jeopardizing national security by sharing, transmitting and storing user data in another country with the information thus governed by foreign laws.

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In India, many users have begun installing rival apps like Signal and Telegram, pushing WhatsApp to begin a costly advertising campaign to calm customers.

A petition has been filed in the Delhi High Court alleging that the new Privacy Policy introduced by WhatsApp is violative of the Right to Privacy provided under part III of the Constitution of India and affirmed by the Supreme Court of India in the case of Justice K.S. Puttaswamy and Ors.

That triggered outrage, including in its biggest market India where it has 400 million users.

WhatsApp had informed users about these changes through an in-app notification, last week.

Signal's Acton termed Facebook's update as "complicated" and said "it's really hard for an average user to parse it out, and understand what exactly they are doing and wanting to do, why they're doing it". "People are rebelling against it [privacy update] as they should".

While many tech leaders like Elon Musk advocated using other platforms like Signal, in India too a number of business leaders including Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma and PhonePe CEO Sameer Nigam spoke of moving to rival platforms.

The Information Regulator said it made contact with Facebook South Africa, which provided it with a WhatsApp privacy policy that was revised on 4 January.

Cathcart also noted that WhatsApp will also continue to explain to people and its partners how the platform protects the privacy and security of people's personal messages. "In the long term, it's a debate whether there will be an emergent victor, and you know that's going to require a lot of hard work and effort on our part", he said.