According to official sources, in its fresh notice to the company, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has said that there are various options available for the messaging platform under Indian law. The government told WhatsApp to respond to its concerns by May 25.
Noting that many Indian users depend on WhatsApp for communicating on a daily basis, the ministry said that it is irresponsible for WhatsApp to leverage its position in the Indian market to impose unfair terms and conditions.
Reacting to the MeitY notice, a WhatsApp spokesperson said that the company reaffirms what “we said before that this update does not impact the privacy of personal messages for anyone”.
“Our goal is to provide information about new options we are building that people will have, to message a business on WhatsApp, in the future. While the majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them, we appreciate some people haven’t had the chance to do so yet. No accounts were deleted on May 15 because of this update and no one in India lost functionality of WhatsApp either,” the spokesperson reiterated.
“We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks,” the company added.
The ministry has also strongly taken up the issue of WhatsApp’s ‘discriminatory treatment’ to Indian users in comparison to the users in Europe.