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WhatsApp Reacts to Criticism Over Privacy, Alleges Zomato, Ola, Aarogya Setu Collect Same or More Data: Report

WhatsApp also reportedly called out US tech giants Google, Microsoft, and Zoom for carrying similar privacy policies.

WhatsApp Reacts to Criticism Over Privacy, Alleges Zomato, Ola, Aarogya Setu Collect Same or More Data: Report

Photo Credit: Reuters

WhatsApp filed an affidavit to respond to the petition filed against its latest privacy policy update

Highlights
  • WhatsApp reportedly named tech companies while responding to a petition
  • It said many companies have similar privacy policies in place
  • WhatsApp is said to have filed the affidavit on May 5

WhatsApp has said in its response to a petition filed against its privacy policy update in the Delhi High Court that many Internet-based applications and websites have similar policies and that some even collect more data, according to a report. The instant messaging app owned by Facebook reportedly cited privacy policies of companies including Big Basket, Koo, Ola, Truecaller, and Zomato as well as the government's contact tracing app Aarogya Setu in an affidavit filed in the court.

The messaging app also named US tech giants Google, Microsoft, and Zoom and mentioned Republic World, the digital venture of news channel Republic TV, Inc42 reports citing an affidavit filed in the Delhi High Court on May 5.

WhatsApp's response to the petition filed in the court notably came just a couple of days before it announced to scrap the May 15 deadline for bringing its new privacy policy. It said in a media statement that it would not delete accounts of users who did not accept the policy update and no one in India would lose functionality of its app.

However, WhatsApp clarified in an FAQ page that users “will encounter limited functionality” on its app until they accept the update. “This will not happen to all users at the same time,” it noted.

WhatsApp reportedly told the Delhi High Court in the affidavit that if its new privacy policy update is blocked by the court, it would disrupt other tech companies in the country, including those facilitating grocery deliveries and facilitating online appointments with doctors.

The privacy policy update is aimed at enabling WhatsApp to expand its business in India and other markets by allowing Facebook and third parties to gain access to its user data to some extent. The deadline to accept the new privacy policy was initially planned for February 8, though the deadline was pushed to May 15 due to public outrage, before getting scrapped.

In January, the Delhi High Court in response to a petition against WhatsApp said that accepting the new privacy policy was “voluntary” and one can choose to not join the platform if they did not agree with its terms and conditions. The court at that time had said that “even Google Maps captures all your data and stores it”.


Does WhatsApp's new privacy policy spell the end for your privacy? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Jagmeet Singh writes about consumer technology for Gadgets 360, out of New Delhi. Jagmeet is a senior reporter for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about apps, computer security, Internet services, and telecom developments. Jagmeet is available on Twitter at @JagmeetS13 or Email at jagmeets@ndtv.com. Please send in your leads and tips. More
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