WhatsApp said despite the update, neither it nor Facebook could read users' messages or hear their calls with friends, family or co-workers. WhatsApp will always protect personal messages with end-to-end encryption so that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see them. "We are working to address misinformation and remain available to answer any questions", a WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement. The new policy, for the unaware, will result in more data than some are comfortable with being shared among WhatsApp, Facebook, and other Facebook-owned companies.
The ministry asked WhatsApp to withdraw the proposed changes and reconsider its approach to information privacy, freedom of choice and data security.
The government has criticized the "all-or-nothing" ultimatum issued by WhatsApp, where users could either accept the policy or lose access to the platform.
WhatsApp's new privacy terms, which were unveiled earlier this month, reserve the right to share user data, including location and phone number, with its parent Facebook Inc and units such as Instagram and Messenger. However, because of WhatsApp's failure to properly educate users on the changes, implications of data sharing with Facebook, a healthy dose of skepticism, and social media being social media, millions of users were up in arms about the changes, with many fleeing to alternative apps like Telegram and Signal.
The ministry asked 14 questions, including categories of user data collected, whether it profiled customers based on usage and cross-border data flows.
"No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8". "The government of India owes a sovereign responsibility to its citizens to ensure that their interests are not compromised and therefore it calls upon WhatsApp to respond to concerns raised in this letter". The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.