The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on May 18 had asked WhatsApp to withdraw its new terms of service and had given seven days to the Facebook-owned company to come up with a satisfactory response. WhatsApp on Monday replied to the government’s letter noting that the privacy of users remains the company’s highest priority.
WhatsApp had earlier noted that it would not defer the May 15 deadline for WhatsApp users in India to accept the new terms of service. However, it had noted that users not accepting the new terms of service will not lose WhatsApp features like messaging and calling immediately. The recent letter notes that WhatsApp will continue to follow this approach at least until the Personal Data Protection law comes into effect.
“We have responded to the Government of India’s letter 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 personal messages. Its purpose is to provide additional information about how people can interact with businesses if they choose to do so,” a WhatsApp spokesperson noted.
“We will not limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works in the coming weeks. Instead, we 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. We hope this approach reinforces the choice that all users have whether or not they want to interact with a business. We will maintain this approach until at least the forthcoming PDP law comes into effect,” the company spokesperson added.