The CCI, in its order on Wednesday evening, said that that the new WhatsApp policy seems unfair to users and hence requires investigation. It noted in its order, “On a careful and thoughtful consideration of the matter, the conduct of WhatsApp in sharing of users’ personalised data with other Facebook Companies, in a manner that is neither fully transparent nor based on voluntary and specific user consent, appears prima facie unfair to users.”
WhatsApp in an emailed statement to India Today Tech said, “We look forward to engaging with the CCI. WhatsApp remains committed to protecting people’s personal communications with end-to-end encryption and providing transparency about how these new optional business features work.”
The CCI also says that so far, the response it has received from WhatsApp and Facebook on this matter is evasive and seems disingenuous. This, too, necessitates the need for a probe. “The Commission directs the DG (director-general) to complete the investigation and submit the investigation report within a period of 60 days from the receipt of this order,” notes the order.
“In the coming weeks, we’ll display a banner in WhatsApp providing more information that people can read at their own pace,” WhatsApp said last month. “Eventually we’ll start reminding people to review and accept these updates to keep using WhatsApp.”