Tech

WhatsApp responds: Zoom, Aarogya Setu, Truecaller and these apps also collect same or more data – Eagles Vine

Facebook-owned instant messaging app WhatsApp has reportedly hit back at criticism of its new privacy policy. According to a report in Inc42, the company has filed an affidavit where it says that many other tech companies and apps collect same or more amount of user data. The affidavit responds to a petition filed in the Delhi High Court (Delhi HC) against WhatsApp’s privacy policy update.
Inc42 claims to have reviewed a copy of the affidavit filed by the company. It reportedly cites privacy policies of internet companies — Zomato, Ola, Koo, BigBasket, Truecaller as well as government’s contact tracing app Aarogya Setu, and US tech majors Microsoft, Google, Zoom as examples to make its point. The affidavit reportedly also mentions Republic World, the digital arm of news broadcasting company Republic TV.
“A review of the privacy policies of many internet-based applications and websites confirms that such policies include provisions describing the information they may collect that are similar to – and in many instances much broader than – those in the 2021 (WhatsApp privacy policy) Update,” says the affidavit filed by WhatsApp as per the report.
WhatsApp’s response comes just days after it scrapped May 15 as deadline for users to accept update to its privacy policy. “No one will have their accounts deleted or lose functionality of WhatsApp on May 15th because of this update,” the company said in FAQ page on its website.
The page, however, adds that users not agreeing to the terms after “several weeks” will not be able to access their chat list, and eventually, will not be able to answer incoming phone or video calls over the app.
The FAQ page further adds that WhatsApp will continue to remind users who haven’t had the chance to review and accept the terms, and after a period of several weeks, “the reminder (that) people receive will eventually become persistent”. It so far has not revealed the timelines set for these reminders.
In January this year, WhatsApp informed users about the changes in its terms of service and public policy through an in-app notification. Users were initially given time till February 8 to agree to these terms. This date was later extended to May 15.
While privacy advocates allege that the new terms will increase WhatsApp’s ability to share users’ data with parent company Facebook, it has insisted that the acceptance of the new policy does not expand its ability to share user data.
India is the biggest market for WhatsApp. According to the government data, it has 53 crore users in the country.

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The Times of India

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper and digital news media owned and managed by The Times Group. According to Audit Bureau of Circulations, it is ranked 9th in the world by circulation and 3rd in India.

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