New Delhi (PTI): The Indian government has asked WhatsApp to withdraw the recent changes in the privacy policy of the messaging app, saying unilateral changes are not fair and acceptable.

In a strongly worded letter to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said India is home to the largest user base of WhatsApp globally and is one the biggest markets for its services.

The proposed changes to the WhatsApp Terms of Service and Privacy Policy “raise grave concerns regarding the implications for the choice and autonomy of Indian citizens,” it wrote.

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The ministry asked WhatsApp to withdraw the proposed changes and reconsider its approach to information privacy, freedom of choice and data security.

Stating that Indians should be properly respected, it said, “any unilateral changes to the WhatsApp Terms of Service and Privacy would not be fair and acceptable.”

The Ministry has reportedly also objected to the differential privacy policies for European Union and India.

“Given that India has the largest user base for WhatsApp in the world, this discriminatory treatment to Indian users shows lack of respect for interests of Indian citizens by WhatsApp. In this context, government reminds WhatsApp that it has a sovereign right to protect the interests of Indian citizens and it shall not compromise on that at any cost,” people with knowledge of the matter said.

– with PTI

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