In a communication sent to Minister for Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad, CAIT has demanded that the government should immediately restrict WhatsApp from implementing the new policy or put a ban on WhatsApp and its parent company Facebook.
Facebook has more than 200 million users in India and enabling it to access data about every user by a company can pose a serious threat to not only the economy but even to the security of the country.
“It reminds us of the days of East India Company who entered India to trade salt only and invade the country but at this time it is the data which is very crucial to wreck the backbone of economy, social structure, etc. The Facebook- WhatsApp combine has shown their true colours by first facilitating the Indians to use Facebook and WhatsApp without any charge but now seeking access to data, its ultimate object seems to control trade & economy of India beside other hidden agenda,” CAIT said.
The new rules will be implemented next month, and if a user doesn’t accept the policy, then he has to delete the WhatsApp application from his mobile.
Bhartia and Khandelwal said what they could understand is that WhatsApp aims to obtain more data about each user which will enable it to know account information, including phone number, address book information, status information, also all the data on transactions and payments and this data may be linked with its new application, WhatsApp payments.
It will be disastrous when this data will be used by both WhatsApp and Facebook for various purposes, including the enablement of Facebook to use data with an e-commerce portal or compromising data with various companies to earn commercial benefits. Since Facebook being the parent Company of WhatsApp will be able to access all such data, CAIT said.
It will cause much disturbance when WhatsApp can collect data about usage, the kind of phone user is using and his location. Through new terms, WhatsApp will also access the bank account of the user. Not only this but WhatsApp will know what user is paying you and to whom and other related details like what is purchased and what will be the location of delivery. It can track every user, CAIT said.
By obtaining such huge data they will accurately know the purchasing and spending behaviour of users, what they eat, volume of requirements of various items, travels and destinations, usage of flights, railways, cab, road transport, etc.