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Centre Deliberating on Differential Treatment Between Indian and Europen Users Amid WhatsApp Privacy Row

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Chetan Sharma "This differential treatment is certainly a cause of concern for the government. It is also a matter of concern for the government that Indian users are being unilaterally subjected to the changes in the privacy policy," he further added that the government was already looking into the issue and has sent a communication to WhatsApp seeking certain information.

Earlier this month, the widespread instant electronic communication platform recently started out a storm once its enlightened users it had been making ready a brand-new privacy policy, underneath that it may share restricted user data, as well as signal and location, with Facebook and its cluster firms, with no choice to choose out. 

WhatsApp has delayed its launch from February 8th to May 15th. The social media giant stated that the postponement is caused by confusion and misinterpretation.  

The data sharing among cross platforms led to a lot of buzz. Information that gets shared with WhatsApp includes mobile phone number, profile name, phone model, screen resolution, IP address, language, location.  

However, the company claimed that neither Facebook nor the social messaging app can read your messages or hear your calls with your friends, family, and co-workers on the app. WhatsApp has no way to see these as these are all end-to-end encrypted conversations. "We will never weaken this security and we clearly label each chat so you know our commitment,". 

Although, there are situations where your messages may remain on WhatsApp workers incidentally—that is if a message remains undelivered for a specific timeframe up to a limit of 30 days in the encoded structure, after which it is erased just as media advances that are briefly put away in scrambled structure to improve the effectiveness of extra advances. 

As of late, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) requested that WhatsApp pull out changes in the security strategy, saying they are not reasonable and worthy. The proposed changes to the WhatsApp Terms of Service and Privacy Policy "raise grave concerns with respect to the ramifications for the decision and self-sufficiency of Indian residents," it said in a letter to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart. The service has likewise requested that the organization pull out the proposed changes and rethink its way to deal with data protection, the opportunity of decision and information security. Then again, the Delhi High subdued a PIL that looked for activities against the organization. The court had said that the progressions are intentional and clients may leave the stage on the off chance that they can't help contradicting new guidelines. 

The Delhi High Court on Monday received submissions that were made before Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Chetan Sharma during the hearing of a petition by a lawyer opposed to the new privacy policy of WhatsApp to which the court stated: "It is not mandatory to download it. Every other app has similar terms and conditions regarding sharing of user information with others,". 

The absence of this particular clause found in the privacy policy to Indian citizens was questioned "Insofar the government is concerned, while the privacy policy offered by WhatsApp to its European users specifically prohibits the use of any information shared with Facebook companies for the companies''  

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Chetan Sharma "This differential treatment is certainly a cause of concern for the government. It is also a matter of concern for the government that Indian users are being unilaterally subjected to the changes in the privacy policy," he further added that the government was already looking into the issue and has sent a communication to WhatsApp seeking certain information.

Appearing for WhatsApp Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal told the court  that the communication has been received and will be responded to. 

It has been asserted that the new security strategy of WhatsApp permits full admittance to a client's online action without there being any oversight by the public authority. 

The matter has been further listed for hearing on 1st March.


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