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.
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.