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WhatsApp vows extension of full functions to users who declined privacy policy

WhatsApp vows extension of full functions to users who declined privacy policy

New Delhi: WhatsApp said that it will not restrict users who have not accepted its new privacy policy from using all its functions. The messaging app faced the heat of protest over its new privacy policy that has come into effect from May 15.

In a statement given to The Next Web, WhatsApp on Saturday said that it won't restrict any functionality even if the users don't accept the policy for now.

"Given recent discussions with various authorities and privacy experts, we want to make clear that we currently have no plans to limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works for those who have not yet accepted the update," WhatsApp said.

Instead, the messaging platform said that 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 May 17, Whatsapp had said that it was trying to get users on board to accept the new policies, but in case they do not do so, their accounts will slowly be deleted. The platform had then said that there was no universal or uniform time limit after which it will start to delete accounts as each user would be dealt with on a case-to-case basis.

The Facebook-owned platform had filed a lawsuit against the Indian government in Delhi High Court over chat 'traceability' and 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.

WhatsApp rolled out its privacy policy globally including in India, where it has more than 400 million users.

Earlier, taking the user privacy war to the court over new IT rules, WhatsApp said that that user privacy is in its DNA and requiring messaging apps to "trace" chats undermines people's right to privacy.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had asked social media platforms to abide by the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 by May 25, or face strict action.

A WhatsApp spokesperson said that requiring messaging apps to "trace" chats is the equivalent of asking us to keep a fingerprint of every single message sent on WhatsApp.

"It would break end-to-end encryption and fundamentally undermines people's right to privacy. We have consistently joined civil society and experts around the world in opposing requirements that would violate the privacy of our users," the spokesperson stressed.

WhatsApp said that "we will maintain this approach until at least the forthcoming PDP (personal data protection) law comes into effect".

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TAGS:WhatsAppPrivacy WhatsApp user privacy 
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