WhatsApp to delete accounts that don’t accept new policy 

Sibal added that although the accounts would not be deleted right away, they will eventually be removed if the guidelines were not accepted.

Published: 18th May 2021 10:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th May 2021 10:23 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes. (File photo)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp has not deferred its controversial privacy policy in India and will gradually delete user accounts which do not accept the new terms and conditions. WhatsApp’s lawyers, Arvind Datar and Kapil Sibhal informed the Delhi High Court on Monday that there was no deferment of the policy, stating that the tech firm was trying to get users on board with persuasion and may eventually delete the user accounts that don’t comply with the new rules. Sibal added that although the accounts would not be deleted right away, they will eventually be removed if the guidelines were not accepted.

This stand contradicts earlier reports that claimed WhatsApp had scrapped or deferred the rollout of its privacy policy in India—a new set of rules surrounding chat information and business accounts which had sparked widespread criticism across the country.WhatsApp, however, has said that it will send reminders on its privacy policy update in the weeks to come and that there would be no intercession of user privacy.

Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, appearing on behalf of the Central government, told the Delhi HC that WhatsApp’s new privacy policy violated the country’s Information Technology Act, 2020 and that a reply has been sought from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the same. The Centre sought to maintain a status quo on the implementation of the policy, a suggestion opposed by Whatsapp.

According to data analytics firm Sensor Tower, WhatsApp downloads during the January-April period fell by 43 per cent to 172.3 million globally after it announced changes in its new privacy policy. Rival messaging apps Signal and Telegram have witnessed a massive spike in new installations during that period to  64.4 million (1,192 per cent YoY) and 161 million (98 per cent yoy), respectively.


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