Govt writes to WhatsApp expressing concerns over policy changes

In a strongly-worded letter to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart, the Union Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology has expressed grave concerns on WhatsApp's recent policy changes and sought responses on protecting citizens' privacy, sources told YourStory.
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Good morning!

Even as WhatsApp delays the rollout of its new policy update to May 15, its worries are far from over. 

Sources in MeitY told YourStory that the government has sent a strongly worded letter to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart on the proposed user policy changes and sought responses to very pointed queries on how it plans to protect users privacy in India.

In the letter, the government asked WhatsApp to withdraw the proposed changes and reconsider its approach on how it treats privacy, data security, and freedom of choice for Indian citizens.

On Tuesday, speaking at the 15th India Digital Summit, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the Indian government is looking into the changes made by the app, and asserted that the sanctity of personal communication needs to be maintained. 

Union Minister for Electronics and IT, Law and Justice and Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad

Sharing his views about data, Prasad said data must be procured through free consent, it must be used for the objective for which it has been collected, and the data fiduciary who has procured that data must ensure proper safety and sanctity of that data. 

"I do acknowledge the implicit need for data movement across the globe to keep digital commerce intact. But the ground rule of that movement must be very clearly laid out. Next, there must be reciprocity in the data sharing of the world. And again, we shall never compromise on our digital sovereignty," he said.


The Interview 

Coming from a small town in Uttar Pradesh, Anil Nagar realised early on that education was the only means for him to progress in life. But when he started preparing for entrance exams, he struggled to access quality education. So, he started Adda247 in 2010, then known as CareerPower, to help students crack entrance exams. The offline venture pivoted to an edtech startup and has grown from 10,000 students to 4.5 lakh paid users — the second-largest in the Indian edtech ecosystem.

Here are some key takeaways from the interview:

  • COVID-19’s impact on the edtech sector
  • Serving the regional languages of India
  • Creating content for the visually-impaired
  • Overcoming roadblocks in online learning
  • The future roadmap of Adda247 and plans for an IPO

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News & Updates

  • In a strongly-worded letter to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart, the Union Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology has expressed grave concerns on WhatsApp's recent policy changes and sought responses on protecting citizens' privacy, sources told YourStory.

Before you go, stay inspired with… 

Actor and Co-founder of Ketto, Kunal Kapoor

“Business should be a lot more than just profit; it should be about social impact.”

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