WhatsApp, the messaging platform that has more than 400 million subscribers in India, has informed the Delhi High Court that they will not compel users to opt for the new privacy policy till data protection bill comes into force. The new policy, initiated in January this year, had triggered concerns that user data would be shared with WhatsApp parent company, Facebook.

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The court was hearing a plea by the messaging platform and its owners, Facebook, challenging an inquiry into the policy by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

WhatsApp had initiated new updates, which sparked a controversy amid concerns that the messaging platform would share users’ personal information with parent company Facebook

The government had said that the changes to the privacy policy and the manner of introducing these changes undermined the values of informational privacy and data security.

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The row started with WhatsApp updating its privacy policy on January 4. The new policy asked users to agree to the changes before February 8. The statement spoke about more information about how businesses use Facebook hosted services to store and manage their WhatsApp chats. It also expanded on how WhatsApp partners with Facebook to offer integrations across the Facebook Company.

This was followed by users moving in hordes to other messaging platform such as Telegram and desi Koo.

Following the uproar, WhatsApp had announced that it was delaying the implementation of the new privacy policy till May 2021. A statement released by the company said that it wanted users to understand the new terms and then agree. Admitting that the new policy had caused plenty of confusion, it said there had been a lot of misinformation about the changes as well. 

Earlier, a single-judge bench of the High Court dismissed their pleas against the CCI inquiry. Last month, the Indian government told the Delhi High Court that the messaging app was trying to “force” users in to accepting the new policy before the Personal Data Protection Bill becomes the law.