At a time when WhatsApp’s recent mandatory policy update notification is facing flak from around the world, Indians are also expressing major resentment towards the app.
In its policy update, WhatsApp admitted to have been sharing some user data from its 2018-launched “Business” app with Facebook – in order to personalise the buying and selling experiences of merchants and customers connecting via the app.
Significantly, 22 percent of the respondents were users of WhatsApp’s Business app. The majority of them voiced an intention to sign up for alternatives like Signal and Telegram.
Amid the controversy, 29 percent of participants in India said they could switch apps within a month, 25 percent said they could do so within a week, and 18 percent said they have already switched.
Indians react to #WhasAppPrivacyPolicy inclining against the update.— Radhika Parashar (@_RadhikaReports) January 28, 2021
Indian market research firm -- Better World–BM Nxt. conducted a study among 565 respondents between 9 January and 25 January 2021. @SputnikInt pic.twitter.com/BOWu0DAkG9
The study further explored what the users think the government should do about the app update.
While 33 percent said that it is better to let users be the best judge, 24 percent of the respondents suggested the government should ask WhatsApp to roll back the changes. 43 percent of participants, on the other hand, stated that there needs to be a more holistic regulation in place for other apps that could be collecting and sharing user data as well.
The government of India, as of now, has asked for detailed response from #WhatsApp over its privacy update notification.— Radhika Parashar (@_RadhikaReports) January 28, 2021
In a letter to WhatsApp CEO, Indian IT ministry has also suggested that the app withdraws its policy update for India, which is its biggest global market. pic.twitter.com/fL2TFhaNNs
The letter raised concerns against the mandatory nature of the update that did not come with an “opting-out” feature.
After drawing severe criticism from around the world, WhatsApp has pushed back the enforcement of its policy update by three months, as of now.