“We reiterate that we have already responded to the Government of India and assured them that the privacy of users remains our highest priority. As a reminder, the recent update does not change the privacy of people’s personal messages. Its purpose is to provide additional information about how people can interact with businesses if they choose to do so,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement.
In an update earlier to its frequently asked questions page, the Facebook-owned messaging service said it would give everyone time to review, and continue to remind those who haven’t had the chance to do so to review and accept. After a period of several weeks, the reminder people receive will “eventually become persistent”.
“We will not limit the functionality of how WhatsApp works in the coming weeks. Instead, we will continue to remind users from time to time about the update as well as when people choose to use relevant optional features, like communicating with a business that is receiving support from Facebook. We hope this approach reinforces the choice that all users have whether or not they want to interact with a business. We will maintain this approach until at least the forthcoming PDP law comes into effect,” WhatsApp added on Thursday.
WhatsApp, in its June 1 affidavit, has submitted that users were not previously given the option to completely opt-out of data sharing with Facebook or other third-party applications. “Moreover, WhatsApp is under no legal obligation to provide such opt-outs to its users. The law permits companies to not provide their services to users who do not consent to their terms. This is entirely common practice across the industry when online platforms update their terms,” it added.