“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,” IANS quoted a WhatsApp spokesperson as saying in a statement.
In the communication sent to WhatsApp, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology called it an undermining of the values of informational privacy and data security.
The letter had pointed out that privacy update enabled WhatsApp and other Facebook companies “to make invasive and precise inferences about users”.
“This approach has the potential to infringe on core values of data privacy, user choice, and autonomy of Indian users. Given the huge user base of WhatsApp and Facebook in India, the consolidation of this sensitive information also exposes a very large segment of Indian citizens to greater information security risk and vulnerabilities creating a potential honeypot of information,” the ministry said in the letter.