The new policy details how WhatsApp’s service handles the user data and how it integrates across multiple apps, including Instagram and Facebook Messenger, in order to provide services and customise the experience for the user. However, there have been question marks over transparency, as users question the need to collect so much data in the guise of protecting commercial interests. With every detail of a person available at the click of a mouse, privacy concerns are justified. There have also been reports of data mined from social media platforms being used to influence the electoral prospects of candidates. In times of the pandemic, with most work switching over to the digital form, the need for privacy and checking intrusion will be felt even more. While the company claims its messages are end-to-end encrypted and can neither be read nor stored, its need for sharing of data calls for more scrutiny. WhatsApp had faced flak earlier too when it was alleged that the platform was being used to forward messages whose authenticity could not be verified, leading to the proliferation of fake news. The Union government has been arguing that the new policy is a violation of the Indian Information Technology law.
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