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"Users remain our top priority, functionality of app will not be limited": WhatsApp

Users remain our top priority, functionality of app will not be limited: WhatsApp

New Delhi: As the tussle between the Centre and messaging platform WhatsApp over new IT rules escalates, the Facebook-owned company on Thursday reiterated that the privacy of users remains its highest priority.

The reaction came after the Centre told the Delhi High Court that WhatsApp was obtaining "trick consent" from its users for its updated 2021 privacy policy ahead of the pending Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill.

However, the messaging platform assured that it will maintain its stand until at least the forthcoming PDP law comes into effect.

"We reiterate that we have already responded to the Government of India 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 messages," the statement by Whatsapp read.

A WhatsApp spokesperson assured that the company will not limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works in the coming weeks. Instead, it 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.

Earlier on Thursday, the Centre in a fresh affidavit had told the Delhi HC that WhatsApp is currently having access to personal, sensitive personal and business data of hundreds of millions of Indian users and has also acquired a role that an "essential digital service" during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Centre also alleged that millions of WhatsApp existing users, those who have not accepted the updated 2021 privacy policy are being bombarded with notifications on an everyday basis.

Citing a screenshot of the push notification, the Centre had urged the court to restrain WhatsApp from "pushing notifications" to its users.

The Facebook-owned platform that has filed a lawsuit against the Indian government in Delhi High Court over chat 'traceability', went ahead with implementing its controversial user privacy policy from May 15, saying that those who do not accept new changes will see limited functionality in the coming weeks.

Later, WhatsApp said that it will not limit functionalities for users who do not accept the new privacy policy.

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TAGS:WhatsAppPrivacy WhatsAppNewPolicy 
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