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WhatsApp’s privacy policy on hold till Data Protection Bill comes into force

WhatsApp’s new privacy policy allows the instant messaging app to use some of the business conversations hosted with Facebook for advertising.

Published: 10th July 2021 07:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th July 2021 07:49 AM   |  A+A-

Whatsapp

For representational purposes

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Amidst the standoff with the Centre over its privacy policy, WhatsApp on Friday told the Delhi High Court that it has decided to temporarily put its privacy policy on hold, till the Data Protection Bill comes into force. WhatsApp’s new privacy policy allows the instant messaging app to use some of the business conversations hosted with Facebook for advertising.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh was hearing the appeals of Facebook and WhatsApp against the single-judge order refusing to stop the regulator Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) order directing a probe into WhatsApp’s new policy. On behalf of WhatsApp, advocate Harish Salve said: “Government has asked to shut down the policy.

We have said we will not enforce it till Data Protection Bill comes out. That is open-ended because we don’t know when the Bill will come out. We said we will not do this for a while. Suppose the Bill allows me to do it, we will have completely different ramifications.

ALSO READ | Won't compel users to accept new privacy policy, WhatsApp tells Delhi HC 

We voluntarily agreed to put it on hold. We will not compel people to accept.” WhatsApp, which has 53 crore users in India, faced severe backlash over user concerns that data was being shared with parent company Facebook. Following the introduction of the new privacy policy, several users moved to apps like Signal and Telegram.

Earlier, WhatsApp had made it compulsory to accept the policy to continue using the app. Backtracking, the company said it will not limit functionality of the messaging app for users not agreeing to its new privacy policy, but will continue to send reminders about the update.

Centre’s stand clear
Saying that WhatsApp’s notifications were for obtaining trick consent, Centre had urged HC to direct it to stop pushing 



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