Messaging app WhatsApp on Monday apprised the Government of India (GOI) that its recent update does not change the privacy of people's personal messages. "We have responded to the Government of India's letter and assured them that the privacy of users remains our highest priority. As a reminder, the recent update does not change the privacy of people's personal messages. Its purpose is to provide additional information about how people can interact with businesses if they choose to do so," said a WhatsApp spokesperson.
The messaging app clarified that it will not limit the functionality of services and would continue to remind users from time to time about the updates.
"We will not limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works in the coming weeks. Instead, we will continue to remind users from time to time about the update as well as when people choose to use relevant optional features, like communicating with a business that is receiving support from Facebook," the spokesperson said.
"We hope this approach reinforces the choice that all users have whether or not they want to interact with a business. We will maintain this approach until at least the forthcoming PDP law comes into effect," he added.
Taking up the issue of discriminatory treatment to Indian users vis-a-vis users in Europe, the Ministry had further stated that, "As you are doubtlessly aware, many Indian citizens depend on WhatsApp to communicate in everyday life. It is not just problematic, but also irresponsible, for WhatsApp to leverage this position to impose unfair terms and conditions on Indian users, particularly those that discriminate against Indian users vis-a-vis users in Europe."
(With ANI inputs)