Monday, January 18, 2021
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Traders distressed with the new digital policy reform in town ; Facebook and WhatsApp fear ban!

The brand new WhatsApp privacy policy through which all kinds of personal data, payment transactions, contacts, location, and other vital information of a person who is using WhatsApp will be acquired and can be used for any purpose by WhatsApp, is facing strong objection from The Confederation of All India Traders ( CAIT ). Enabling Facebook to access data about every user by a company can pose a serious threat to not only the economy but even to the security of the country, especially when it has about 200 million users in India alone.

WhatsApp is scheduled to implement its changed Privacy Policy from next month in India which will compel people using WhatsApp to accept the changed terms if they want to avail the usage of WhatsApp, failing which they will have to delete the app from their mobile.

Implications of the implementation of the new privacy policy:-

WhatsApp will be able to access the bank account of the user. It will know what user is paying you and to whom and other related details, like the details of the purchase and the location of delivery. Basically, it can track every user, CAIT said.

By obtaining such huge data they will precisely know the purchasing and spending behavior of users, what they consume, the volume of requirements of various items travels, and destinations, bookings of flights, railways, cabs, road transport, etc.

A mail has been sent discussing the same to the Minister for Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad.

What does CAIT have to say about this?

“It reminds us of the days of East India Company who entered India to trade salt only and invade the country but at this time it is the data which is very crucial to wreck the backbone of the economy, social structure, etc. The Facebook- WhatsApp combine has shown their true colors by first facilitating the Indians to use Facebook and WhatsApp without any charge but now seeking access to data, its ultimate object seems to control trade & economy of India besides other hidden agenda,”.

A joint statement was issued by the CAIT National President, B. C. Bhartia and Secretary-General, Praveen Khandelwal, which read, “The changed privacy policy of WhatsApp is an encroachment on the privacy of an individual & runs against the basic fundamentals of Constitution of India and therefore the CAIT has demanded immediate intervention of the Government,”.

They added, “In its new privacy policy, WhatsApp is forcing the user to accept the new terms and it’s a common phenomenon that most of them without reading the terms would just go ahead and accept it without realizing what WhatsApp is changing under the new terms. It does not give a choice to the user to stay on the platform without accepting the revised terms which is also an encroachment on the independence of a person. How can a company operating in India force the users to accept its arbitrary and one-sided terms.”

Major issues, as highlighted by CAIT ->

WhatsApp aims to obtain more data about each user which will enable it to know a lot of personal details such as account information, including phone number, address book information, status information, all the data on transactions and payments and this data may be linked with its new feature, WhatsApp payments.

It will be horrific when this data will be used by both WhatsApp and Facebook for various purposes, including the enablement of Facebook to use data with an e-commerce portal or compromising data with various companies to earn commercial benefits. Since Facebook is the parent company of WhatsApp, it will have no problem in accessing all the data of the users.