India and Argentina put pressure on WhatsApp

India and Argentina put pressure on WhatsApp

Things are continuing to get tricky for WhatsApp, with further unfavourable responses to the Facebook-owned service’s proposed data use policy.

This time the policy, which allows Facebook to collect information from users of its WhatsApp messaging app, has attracted criticism from India and Argentina.

In India the government has told WhatsApp to withdraw its new privacy policy, which was due to be launched on 15 May. This is the second time the government has made this demand. However, WhatsApp has already argued that it has officially deferred its new privacy policy beyond 15 May.

There’s a perceived unfairness about the policy as European users have been given the choice to opt out. According to local press reports, Indian users unwilling to agree to the policy will, in the first instance, have their access to key features limited; accounts will then be deleted after a few days.

WhatsApp has seven days to respond to this notice, after which there could be a legal response. 

Meanwhile, Argentina has also taken a stand on the issue, ordering Facebook to suspend its data use policy. The suspension will last at least six months pending an investigation. 

The Argentinian authorities maintain that the suspension is necessary due to the dominant position in the market of Facebook’s social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

This dominance, it is suggested, could be reinforced through data sharing in a way that could exploit users and undermine competitors.

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