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WhatsApp counters govt’s ‘trick consent’ remark, defends privacy policy notifications to users

Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, June 03: WhatsApp has responded to the central government's claim over the messaging platform's alleged 'trick consent' from users for its updated privacy policy saying it accords highest priority to privacy of users.

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"We reiterate that we have already responded to Government of India assured them that users' privacy remains our priority. As a reminder, recent update doesn't change privacy of people's personal messages, rather provides addtl info about how people can interact with businesses," WhatsApp said in a statement.

"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."" it added.

The government has claimed that social messaging platform WhatsApp was trying to "force" its users to consent to the new privacy policy before the Personal Data Protection Bill becomes the law by bombarding them with notifications daily to obtain their consent.

WhatsApp obtaining 'trick consent' for updated privacy policy: Centre to Delhi HCWhatsApp obtaining 'trick consent' for updated privacy policy: Centre to Delhi HC

Terming WhatsApp''s bombarding of notifications on its customers as an "anti-user practice" for obtaining "trick consent", the central government has urged the court to direct the messaging platform to desist from pushing notifications onto its existing users with regard to the new privacy policy.

The Centre''s claim has been made in an additional affidavit filed in response to several pleas challenging the new privacy policy of WhatsApp.

The government has sought directions to WhatsApp to place on record the number of times such notifications have been sent out till date on daily basis and what was the conversion rate -- that is how many have accepted the updated 2021 privacy policy vis-a-vis the number of notifications.

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