WhatsApp thanks Parliamentary committee after meeting on data privacy

A WhatsApp spokesperson thanked the standing committee of Parliament on Information Technology headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor for allowing them to present their views after Thursday’s meeting where the company’s new privacy policy was discussed.

“We wish to thank the Parliamentary Committee for giving us an opportunity to appear before them and provide our views. We look forward to assisting the Hon’ble Committee in future as well,” the spokesperson said as quoted by news agency ANI.

The committee met the officials of Twitter and Facebook and the ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to hear their views on safeguarding citizens’ rights and prevention of misuse of social and online news media platforms.

The meeting was held at 4pm today, according to ANI.

The Centre recently asked WhatsApp to withdraw its new privacy policy which had led to a global outcry about privacy protection and resulted in thousands of users switching to other online messaging platforms like Signal and Telegram.

WhatsApp, however, has assured that they do not expand its ability to share user data with its parent company Facebook and is working to address the “misinformation” that was being spread about its privacy norms.

“We wish to reinforce that this update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook. Our aim is to provide transparency and new options available to engage with businesses…” a WhatsApp spokesperson said.

The app promises end-to-end encryption which means that no third party, even WhatsApp itself, would be unable to access someone’s personal chats.

The company delayed the implementation of its new privacy policy from January 16 to May 15 after massive global backlash resulting in thousands switching over to other online messaging platforms.

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