WhatsApp pauses privacy policy update roll out until data protection bill comes into effect

After facing multiple hurdles when trying to rollout their new privacy policy, WhatsApp has now told the Delhi High Court that they will hold back on rolling out the update until the new Personal Data Protection Bill comes into force.

Back in January 2021, WhatsApp introduced a new privacy policy and terms of service update, and it received a lot of backlash from its userbase over its data-sharing practices. Since then, they have gone back and forth with the rollout, announcing restriction of features for those who don’t accept the policy and then going back on that move after Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) sent a letter to WhatsApp.

In March, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) announced an investigation into WhatsApp for possibly violating competition laws. In response, WhatsApp and Facebook, took to the courts to appeal against the CCI’s probe order.

During the court hearing, WhatsApp committed to putting their privacy policy update rollout on hold until the Parliament passes the Personal Data Protection Bill, which has been tabled for the upcoming monsoon session. The Personal Data Protection Bill, when passed, is designed to introduce regulations into how an Indian citizen’s personal data can be used by the government and private companies.

In the meantime, WhatsApp will continue to show the update to its users, however it will refrain from forcing users to accept it. WhatsApp will not implement the policy until the Parliament allows it.