Tech Apps

India Parliament Panel To Question Facebook On WhatsApp’s Privacy Terms

The panel will ask why Facebook needed to change WhatsApp's privacy policy and how it will impact users.

Facebook executives will handle inquiries from an Indian parliamentary panel on Thursday about the changes to WhatsApp’s policy, a source said, days after the messaging platform was asked by the country’s technology ministry to withdraw them.

The panel will ask as to why Facebook needed to change WhatsApp’s privacy policy and what it will mean for users, the source said. WhatsApp didn’t quickly react to Reuters request for comment.

The messaging platform earlier this month kicked off a storm when it informed users it was preparing a new privacy policy, under which it could share limited user data, including phone number and location, with Facebook and its group firms.

Interest for rival applications, for example, Signal and Telegram surged on security concerns and WhatsApp a week ago choose to delay the new policy launch to May from February.

With 400 million users, India is WhatsApp’s greatest market, and the messaging service has big plans for the nation’s growing digital payments space, including selling health insurance via partners.

Facebook a year ago put $5.7 billion in the digital unit of Mukesh Ambani-led combination Reliance Industries, with a big part of that pointed toward attracting ten of millions of traditional shop owners to use digital payments via WhatsApp.

Earlier this week, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in an email to WhatsApp boss that the new privacy policy terms take away choice from Indian users.