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India tells High Court to block WhatsApp privacy policy change

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It looks like the government of India has told the Delhi High Court to block the impending WhatsApp privacy policy change.

“Social media in recent years has been used by billions of people around the world and millions of Indians today are dependent on WhatsApp. Therefore, information that is generally personal is shared at an enormous level. This information is susceptible to being misused if the social media giant decides to either sell or exploit the information, sensitive to the users, to any third party”

Indian govt cout filing (via Techcrunch)

This comes after India’s Minister for ITs wrote a letter to WhatsApp expressing grave concerns about the update and asked the Facebook-owned company to reconsider. Its good to remember that India is WhatsApp’s biggest market with an estimated 340 million WhatsApp users according to Statista. This move to block the Privacy Policy will surely prompt a response from WhatsApp and may negotiate a way forward.

WhatsApp is not the only US company that is facing a tough stance from the Indian government.

Late last month Facebook, Google and Netflix were met by a raft of new changes by India’s ICT Ministry. Among the changes are the removal of sensitive material misinformation and violent content within 24 hours. As well as appointing compliance and resident grievance officers who will address local concerns.

“India is the world’s largest open Internet society and the Government welcomes social media companies to operate in India, do business and also earn profits. However, they will have to be accountable to the Constitution and laws of India”

Ravi Shankar Prasad, IT Minister India (via Techcrunch)

This latest move by the government of India against WhatsApp shows that the country isn’t taking any nonsense from American big tech. Hopefully, their ideas can leech into Africa so that governments on the continent can take a more proactive approach to Big Tech.

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