India’s antitrust watchdog is investigating WhatsApp’s privacy policy

New Delhi: India’s competition watchdog today ordered an investigation into the privacy policy update announced by Facebook-owned WhatsApp, saying the messaging service violates antitrust laws.

WhatsApp said in January that it was updating its privacy policy to allow it to share some user data with its parent company Facebook and other companies in the group, leading to a global backlash against the messaging app, including in India, its largest market, by more than 500 million. Users.

The antitrust order also comes as WhatsApp begins expanding digital payment services to millions of Indians.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) said WhatsApp had violated competition laws “through its exploitative and exclusionary behavior … in the costume of updating the policy.”

The 21-page order also required his investigation unit to conduct an investigation and file a report within 60 days.

These sensors usually last for several months.

The agency added that WhatsApp’s behavior in sharing user data with other Facebook companies, in a manner that is “not fully transparent nor based on the user’s voluntary and specific consent,” appears unfair to users.

The CCI said WhatsApp has informed the antitrust agency that the policy update, which takes effect in May, is not raising competition law concerns.

WhatsApp did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In India, privacy-conscious users have downloaded competing apps like Signal and Telegram, according to data from research companies.

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