“Today’s consumers value non-price parameters of services viz. quality, customer service, innovation, etc. as equally if not more important as price. The competitors in the market also compete on the basis of such non-price parameters. Reduction in consumer data protection and loss of control over their personalized data by the users can be taken as reduction in quality under the antitrust law,” says the order.
India’s IT ministry had filed a counter affidavit in the Delhi High Court to restrain Whatsapp to go through with this new policy. In response, the IT ministry started a petition seeking the central government to either force Whatsapp to back out from this new policy, or give the users an option to opt-out of this policy.
In the counter affidavit, it says that under the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019(pending to pass), the Information Technology Act 2000, and the rules it has, constitutes the Data Protection regime in our country, and Whatsapp’s new policy will violate these rules.
If we go into details, Whatsapp, in its new policy fails to specify the types of sensitive personal data (SPD) being collected and has used very generic terms to describe all kinds of data it will be collecting. The government argues that since this policy specifies no distinction between personal and specific personal data, violates the IT rules.
This new policy doesn’t change anything for its users, as their chats are still end-to-end encrypted. What it will change is sharing the data of the user chats with business accounts. Whatsapp is a Facebook-owned company, and if this policy is agreed to, the data will be shared with Facebook group companies as well.