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WhatsApp says most users have accepted privacy policy update

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, India, has asked Whatsapp to withdraw the new privacy policy for Indian users for the second time. Whatsapp will “continue to engage with the government” and says that a majority of users have accepted the new terms of service.

“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. While the majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them, we appreciate some people haven’t had the chance to do so yet,” a Whatsapp spokesperson told Candid.Technology.

From May 15, Whatsapp started sending reminders to users who haven’t agreed to the new privacy policy and terms of service. The new update will enable Whatsapp to share data with other Facebook-owned apps when a business owner hosts Whatsapp Business API on Facebook’s servers.

According to Facebook’s policy, the chats between users and these Businesses on Whatsapp won’t be end-to-end encrypted and can be accessed by the third-party hosting service, including Facebook companies.

“No accounts were deleted on May 15 because of this update, and no one in India lost the functionality of Whatsapp either. We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks.”

MeitY sent a letter to Whatsapp on Tuesday asking the company to withdraw the update and give a response in seven days, as reported by TechCrunch. The messaging service, which boasts over 450 million users in India, also argued that Aarogya Setu, Zomato, Ola, Bigbasket and Truecaller also collect and share data on the same terms.

Whatsapp says most users have accepted privacy policy update
Whatsapp’s reminder

“Our goal is to provide information about new options that we are building that people will have, to message a business on Whatsapp, in the future. 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.”

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