WhatsApp refuses to delete user data in India after court ruling

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Changes to WhatsApp’s data sharing rules are causing more controversy this week. The company refuses to comply with a court order from India’s Delhi High Court, which requested that the company delete any and all data collected by users who opted out of the company’s new privacy policy before September 25th.

Since WhatsApp announced that it would be sharing some user data, including phone numbers, with Facebook, the app has come in for some serious critisism for undermining consumer privacy in India. These changes were made under the guise of cutting down on spam and improving services, but a good portion of users remain unconvinced.

Days after the policy change, two students approached the Delhi High Court, claiming that the changes compromise the privacy and rights of the 100 million users in the country. This caused the High Court to step in and demand that WhatsApp not use data held on users who opted out of data sharing before September 25th. However, the company claims that “the ruling has no impact on the planned policy and terms of service updates”.

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India is not the only country putting up resistance to WhatApp’s new privacy policy. Yesterday the German government ordered Facebook to cease collecting data through WhatsApp and to delete user information it has collected so far. Facebook is appealing against the order.