The policy change was first introduced in January, early this year but after facing severe backlash, WhatsApp had to extend the deadline. However, the company is adamant that May 15 was the final deadline for the rollout of the policy.
Initially, those not accepting the policy will start to see more pop-ups in WhatsApp outlining the changes with a big green ‘Accept’ button at the bottom. If the user taps on it, WhatsApp will continue to share certain account data of yours with Facebook.
If you’d rather not agree, you’ll at first be able to hit a back arrow in the upper left corner of the overlay. Over time, though, the pop-ups will appear more frequently. Eventually, you won’t be able to click away at all, and the app’s functionality will start to degrade.
As reported previously by TFI, WhatsApp’s updated user policy gives Mark Zuckerberg the right to share user’s information with Facebook and other third-party apps. Since the time Zuckerberg bought WhatsApp in 2014, constant attempts have been made to integrate it with the Facebook platform. With 340 million users, India is, by far, the largest market for the messaging platform.
Read More: Zuckerberg finally takes his fangs out: New WhatsApp policy is a dystopian attack on user privacy
While most users will still ignore this stipulation, it is pertinent to note that status, group names, icons, frequency and duration of activities, location, device model, operating system, battery level, browser details and whether a user is online, all will be collected by the app.
What is more concerning is that the fact that even the data from the new payment feature, including processing method, transactions and shipment data will be collected. Surely the collection of this amount of unauthorised information infringes the right to privacy of an individual, but it seems that Zuckerberg is indifferent.
The Personal Data Protection Bill (PDP) which has been sent to a Joint Committee of Parliament (JCP) headed by MP Meenakshi Lekhi for more revision needs to be urgently brought in the parliament and passed so that tech giants like Facebook can be kept in check. If PDP was implemented in the country, WhatsApp will not have been able to stand its ground and shove the policy down the throats of Indians.