WhatsApp Delays Privacy Policy Once Again With No Deadline

WhatsApp Inc. has delayed the introduction of its controversial new privacy policy for the second time in nearly four months without specifying any deadline as it faces a challenge from the government over its implementation.

The company said in a statement on Friday it won’t delete the accounts of users who don’t accept the new terms. “No one in India will lose functionality of WhatsApp either,” a company spokesperson told BloombergQuint. “We’ll follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks.”

The spokesperson said while “a majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them”, some haven’t had the chance to do so yet. The company also didn’t clarify the reason behind the extension nor divulged the number of users who have accepted the terms so far.

The Indian government recently told the Delhi High Court the proposed policy violates the country’s technology laws as it fails to specify the nature of user data being collected or notify users about it. WhatsApp and its parent Facebook Inc., however, said they don’t collect or share sensitive personal data.

WhatsApp pushed out an update on its application in January, asking users to accept the new privacy policy, with an initial deadline of Feb. 8, which was later revised to May 15.

To be sure, the company had always maintained that even after the deadline, accounts won’t be deleted but users won’t have full functionality of WhatsApp until they accept the terms, and for a short time, they’ll be able to receive calls and notifications, but won’t be able to read or send messages.

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