Indian traders demand ban on WhatsApp over new terms of service, privacy policy

Indian traders demand ban on WhatsApp over new terms of service, privacy policy

WhatsApp seems to have a tough road ahead as traders’ body CAIT has demanded a ban on the messaging app over its privacy policies. The Confederation of All India Traders has written to the Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad demanding a ban on WhatsApp and Facebook for updating its privacy policies. The CAIT in their letter claimed, "all kinds of personal data, payment transactions, contacts, location and other vital information” of a person can be accessed under the new policy.

As per a PTI report, the traders’ body had alleged that "all kinds of personal data, payment transactions, contacts, location and other vital information of a person who is using WhatsApp will be acquired by it and can be used for any purpose by WhatsApp”. It asked the government to take immediate action against Facebook and WhatsApp.

CAIT demanded, "government should immediately restrict WhatsApp from implementing the new policy or put a ban on WhatsApp and its parent company Facebook”. It further stated that access to users’ data can pose serious threats economy and security of the country.

CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal was quoted as saying by PTI, "The changed privacy policy of WhatsApp is an encroachment on the privacy of an individual and runs against the basic fundamentals of the Constitution of India and therefore the CAIT has demanded immediate intervention of the government."

However, WhatsApp in a statement said that the messaging app’s data-sharing practices with Facebook will not impact how users communicate with each other.

“To further increase transparency, we updated the privacy policy to describe that going forward businesses can choose to receive secure hosting services from our parent company Facebook to help manage their communications with their customers on WhatsApp.Though of course, it remains up to the user whether or not they want to message with a business on WhatsApp,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

"WhatsApp remains deeply committed to protecting people's privacy. We are communicating directly with users through WhatsApp about these changes so they have time to review the new policy over the course of the next month," the statesman further read.

WhatsApp’s new privacy policy has forced most of its users to switch to Signal. The encrypted messaging service has been chosen as the more secure alternative to the Facebook-owned messaging app. However, considering Signal has never handled an onslaught like this before, minor technical glitches have hit the app. Some new users have reported slowdowns and other issues with the app. Acknowledging the issue, Signal tweeted from its official account saying, “Some new users are reporting that Signal is slow to display their Signal contacts. We're adding more capacity to keep up with all the new people searching for their friends on Signal. Hang tight!”