By Sankalp Phartiyal
Earlier this year, WhatsApp said users will have to review its updated terms by February 8, but delayed rollout of new commercial features to mid-May following a backlash from global users on the company’s data sharing practices.
The Ministry of Technology’s May 18 letter to WhatsApp also indicated that the government could take legal action against the company if it does not comply with the provisions of India’s Information Technology Act, the company said. one of the sources, adding that the company had been asked to respond by May 25.
Both sources declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
India’s technology ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
“We continue to engage with the government and reaffirm what we said previously that this update has no impact on the privacy of personal messages for anyone,” WhatsApp said in a statement.
“No accounts were deleted on May 15 due to this update and no one in India lost WhatsApp functionality either.”
With over 500 million users in India, WhatsApp has big plans for the growing digital payments space, including selling health insurance through partners. But government pressure to withdraw the policy could create a new headache for the company.
(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)