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February 28, 2024
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WhatsApp Blinks In Stand-Off With Govt, Puts New Privacy Policy On Hold

Tawqeer Hussain

WhatsApp on Friday told the Delhi High Court that it would not compel the users to accept its controversial privacy policy and will not limit the functionality of its messaging app for the users who didn’t accept the policy.

“We have voluntarily agreed to put it on hold… and if Parliament does not permit such a policy in future, WhatsApp would either close shop in India or would not implement it,” said senior Advocate Harish Salve, representing WhatsApp.

“We will continue to display our updates from time to time to people who have not accepted. In addition, we will display the update whenever a user chooses relevant optional features, like when a user communicates with a business receiving support from Facebook,” Advocate Harish Salve added.

The court was hearing an appeal against the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) ongoing probe into WhatsApp’s privacy policy.

Last month, Government told the Delhi High Court WhatsApp was trying to “force” users into accepting the new policy before the Data Protection Bill becomes law.

It was doing so by bombarding users with notifications to obtain consent, the center said.

This was after the government ordered WhatsApp to withdraw the policy, saying the changes undermined the privacy and data security of users and harmed the rights of Indian citizens.

Salve today submitted before the court that WhatsApp’s challenge against the CCI inquiry has become stronger. “Today, this entire inquiry is in the air. You are inquiring into the implications of a policy which the Government of India has told me to ‘take it off and I have taken it off till the time Parliament makes a law,” he said.

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