Big blow to WhatsApp! CCI orders detailed probe into WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy

New Delhi: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has ordered a detailed probe into updated privacy policy and terms of service of instant messaging app WhatsApp.

Fair trade regulator found WhatsApp’s “exploitative and exclusionary conduct” in the garb of the policy update prima facie violated competition norms.

CII has taken suo moto cognisance of the matter on considering media reports and the potential impact of the policy and terms for WhatsApp users and the market, a PTI report said.

WhatsApp has recently faced a lot of flak over its privacy policy and terms of use update. It said that it will not delete users’ account after the new privacy terms come into effect from May 15, however, in the long term users won’t be able to read or send messages from the app.

“To give you enough time to review changes at your own pace and convenience, we’ve extended the effective date to May 15th. If you haven’t accepted by then, WhatsApp will not delete your account. However, you won’t have full functionality of WhatsApp until you accept. For a short time, you’ll be able to receive calls and notifications, but won’t be able to read or send messages from the app,” a WhatsApp FAQ page said.

Earlier, in February WhatsApp said that it would display a banner on the app providing users with more information on the privacy policy.

WhatsApp in its recent blog wrote, “Today we’re sharing updated plans for how we’ll ask WhatsApp users to review our terms of service and privacy policy. We previously encountered a great deal of misinformation about this update and we continue to work hard to clear up any confusion.”

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Notably, WhatsApp had asked users to either give their consent to sharing data with Facebook or lose their accounts after February 8. The policy was, however, put on hold till May 15 due to a massive backlash by the users.

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