WhatsApp suspended the policy after widespread criticism, but plans to implement it from May.
WhatsApp has used “extremely general terms” to list the types of data collected, with no distinction between personal data or sensitive personal data that is collected, the government said.
The policy mentions the involvement of third-party service providers that may have access to the data, but does not provide the names and associated details of those service providers, it said.
“This is also the case of other Facebook companies, which can review and share information about the user from and with WhatsApp,” said the Ministry.
The policy is completely silent on the correction or modification of the information, the government said. To be compliant with the rules, “you must allow users to exercise this option for all types of collected data” mentioned in the policy.
While WhatsApp complies with the requirement to give a user the option not to provide their data, there is a “clear breach” in complying with the data deletion requirement if the user withdraws the consent to data collection given above.
“In the contested policy, WhatsApp has stated that data and information will be freely shared and received from other Facebook companies. Since the user’s contract is only with WhatsApp, all other Facebook companies are ‘third parties’ within the meaning of Rule 6 (4), and any shared exchange of data obtained from WhatsApp by these companies will amount to a violation of the restriction on further disclosure, “the government said in its response.
The PIL pending in court has sought to develop guidelines to protect user privacy and data from being collected by various social media sites and messaging apps. The petition, filed by Noida resident Dr. Seema Singh along with Delhi residents Meghan and Vikram Singh, has argued that the gaps in the law regarding data are “quite conspicuous”, and a framework for regulating them is the need of the moment. .
In its response, the government also said that the Center has introduced the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha, which by becoming law will provide a robust data protection regime “that will limit the capacity of entities such as WhatsApp issue privacy policies that do not align with the appropriate standards of security and data protection ”.