WhatsApp has an Indian court that recent changes in its terms and condition won’t “endanger” the privacy of its users. However, If people are still concerned, WhatsApp reminded them that it isn’t forcing anyone to use its app.
After WhatsApp announced last month that it will begin sharing some of its users’ data with parent company Facebook for advertising purposes, two WhatsApp users in India went to the High Court to express their privacy concern.
They alleged that WhatsApp was contradicting its original promise and that the move would “severely compromise the rights of its users and make the privacy rights of users completely vulnerable”. In its response, WhatsApp shot down such concerns.
WhatsApp’s representative explained to Delhi High Court that the messaging service won’t be sharing texts, photos, and other things people share using its app.
“There is no question of messages, photographs or documents getting shared with Facebook. We have no access to the content,” council Siddharth Luthra told the court.“Using the messaging service is a voluntary decision, we have not forced anybody to use it. Users have an option of opting out of it,” Luthra added. WhatsApp is used by over 100 million users in India every month.
WhatsApp’s decision to share user data such as phone number with Facebook has raised privacy concern everywhere. In the United States last month, several privacy groups includingElectronic Privacy Information Center and the Center for Digital Democracy comlained to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), accusing WhatsApp of reneging on its previous promise that user data collected would not be used or disclosed for marketing purposes.The change in WhatsApp’s policy will come into effect on Sept. 25. Users who do not wish WhatsApp to share their phone number with Facebook have the option to not share their phone number with Facebook in the app’s settings.