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WhatsApp 'open To Answering Any Queries' On Privacy Policy Amid Reports Of Govt Evaluation

Amid reports of government examination of the new privacy policy, WhatsApp has said it is open to answering any questions from the government on the issue.

WhatsApp

After the Union government said it is examining WhatsApp's new privacy policy and terms of use, WhatsApp has come out saying it is open to answering any questions from the government on the issue. The Facebook-owned instant messaging platform, which has over five billion downloads, has said it is aware that the company will have to "compete" for users' trust with rivals such as Signal.

In an interview with PTI WhatsApp Head Will Cathcart said that WhatsApp remains committed to privacy and security of users across India and will continue to explain to users that their messages are end-to-end encrypted.

Cathcart asserted that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can read users' messages or hear their calls with others on the messaging platform. He also clarified that the changes will not impact WhatsApp Payments as that has a separate privacy policy governing it.

"We are not keeping logs of who everyone in India is texting or calling. We do not share your contacts with Facebook or the other apps Facebook offers....You can download your account information right from WhatsApp to see for yourself the limited data we collect, WhatsApp head Will Cathcart said.

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Changes related to WhatsApp Business only

While explaining the policy update further, WhatsApp has said the new update includes changes related to messaging a business on the messaging platform, which is optional and provides further transparency about how data is collected and used.

Earlier in the day, reports had emerged stating that Centre is examining and evaluating the recent changes announced by the Facebook-owned messenger app and that Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is holding discussions over the implications of the recent move by the messaging platform.

Moreover, a petition has also been filed in Delhi High Court on Thursday alleging the new privacy policies to be a 'threat to national security.'

While attempting to assuage millions the users who raised apprehensions over the new privacy policy, WhatsApp had issued clarifications stating that the changes will not affect consumer accounts as it is only for business accounts.

"We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way. Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data."

The new WhatsApp Privacy Policy will go into effect from next month and users (iOS and Android) have also started getting notifications. But, if you do not choose to agree with WhatsApp's Terms and Conditions, you will no longer be able to use their services.

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