India now has the largest number of WhatsApp users around the globe.
India's IT ministry sent an email to WhatsApp chief Will Cathcart asking the firm to "withdraw the proposed changes" to its terms of service that appeared to require users share personal data like phone numbers and locations, TechCrunch reported.
The government in its letter has questioned WhatsApp point blank, if it shares data with any other app or business unit of the same company or associated companies.
The letter queried WhatsApp on the exact categories of data it collects from users.
WhatsApp has also been asked to provide policy on data and information security, privacy and encryption.
The government also pointed out how Indian users are being subjected to differential, discriminatory treatment when compared to European counterparts by being allowed less choice.
"This approach has the potential to infringe on core values of data privacy, user choice and autonomy of Indian users", it said. Indian IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has been tweeting against the new policy changes today saying, "Be it WhatsApp, be it Facebook, be it any digital platform".
It went on to state that the Personal Data Protection Bill is being discussed by a joint committee of the Parliament and making "a momentous change for its Indian users at this time puts the cart before the horse". On the "all-or-nothing approach" adopted by the company with regards to accepting the privacy update, the government said that this method takes away any meaningful choice from Indian users. Questions included does WhatsApp conduct the profiling of Indian users, does the app capture information about other apps running on a mobile device.