Govt. sends notice to Facebook-owned firm, seeks response within seven days
The government has also warned the Facebook-owned firm that failure of a satisfactory response may result in steps “in consonance with law”.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), in the notice dated May 18, has told WhatsApp that deferring the May 15 implementation deadline does not absolve it from “respecting the values of informational privacy, data security and user choice for Indian users”, a Ministry source said.
Also read: WhatsApp faces first legal challenge in India over privacy
“In fulfilment of its sovereign responsibility to protect the rights and interests of Indian citizens, the Government of India will consider various options available to it under laws in India. The government has given seven days’ time to WhatsApp to respond to this notice and if no satisfactory response is received, necessary steps in consonance with law will be taken,” the source said.
The government had further pointed out that Indian users, who have not been given the option to opt out of data-sharing with Facebook companies, were being subjected to differential treatment when compared to their European counterparts.
In the latest missive to the firm, MeitY has reiterated the issue of discriminatory treatment of Indian users.
“As you are doubtlessly aware, many Indian citizens depend on WhatsApp to communicate in everyday life. It is not just problematic, but also irresponsible, for WhatsApp to leverage this position to impose unfair terms and conditions on Indian users, particularly those that discriminate against Indian users vis-à-vis users in Europe,” MeitY has stated in the letter.
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