WhatsApp Privacy Policy: 19 June Deadline for Some Countries

·3 min read

Messaging platform WhatsApp has extended the deadline of its privacy policy for some countries to Saturday, 19 June.

WaBetaInfo, a website that tracks WhatsApp's features, revealed that users residing in specific countries, such as Germany and Argentina, got an extension.

However, if WhatsApp does extend the deadline in some countries, it will only add to the confusion over the privacy policy, which has been mired in controversy since the day it was announced.

Earlier in May, Germany’s lead data protection regulator had called WhatsApp’s new terms of service “illegal”.

Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information in Germany had previously said that Facebook has no legal basis for processing WhatsApp user data.

What About India?

In an FAQ, WhatsApp noted that it will not delete the accounts of users who do not accept the new terms of service by the 15 May deadline but will keep notifying the users to accept its privacy policies.

“Given recent discussions with various authorities and privacy experts, we want to make clear that we will not limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works for those who have not yet accepted the update,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.

“We’ll continue to display a notification in WhatsApp providing more information about the update and reminding those who haven’t had a chance to do so to review and accept. We currently have no plans for these reminders to become persistent and to limit the functionality of the app,” the spokesperson added.

WhatsApp Obtaining Trick Consent By Pushing Notifications: Centre

The Indian government filed an affidavit on 3 June and has told the Delhi High Court that messaging platform WhatsApp is indulging in anti-user practices by obtaining "trick consent" from its users for its updated privacy policy of 2021.

The Centre said that WhatsApp is sending push notifications to its users in India forcing them to accept the updated privacy policy and the messaging app should be restrained from doing the same.

The affidavit was filed by the Centre, seeking directions to the Central government to order WhatsApp to either roll back the new privacy policy or provide an option for users to opt out.

WhatsApp has also been accused by the Centre of transferring the entire existing userbase to committing to its updated privacy policy before the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill becomes the law.

IT Rules Will Break Privacy Protection

Earlier, in May, WhatsApp moved the Delhi High Court on the ground that the new IT rules would cause the platform to ‘break privacy protections’.

WhatsApp is worried that the social media intermediary IT rules will go against its 'end-to-end encryption' stance that pledges to never read or store messages on their servers, resulting in a stalemate between the company and government.

The Centre had proposed to assign alphanumeric hashes to WhatsApp messages so that originator of every message can be traced back.

Also Read: WhatsApp, Twitter Get Grievance Officers: How to File a Complaint

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