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After India, Brazil Targets Upcoming Whatsapp Privacy Update

Brasilia/New Delhi: After facing an intense scrutiny in India over its upcoming privacy update, consumer protection agencies in Brazil have now asked the government to act on the May 15 privacy update that will allow Facebook to aggregate users’ data across all of its platforms.

Consumer rights non-profit organisation Idec has notified Brazil’s National Data Protection Authority, the National Consumer Secretariat and the Federal Prosecution Service, among others, with a request for joint action against the privacy policy, reports ZDNet.

“It is essential that the Brazilian authorities press [Facebook] for clear answers and that the administrative procedures implemented respect the data protection rights of Brazilians”, said Michel Roberto de Souza, the lawyer leading the digital rights programme at Idec.

Originally planned for a February 8 roll out, WhatsApp had to defer the privacy policy amid strong protests in India.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) strongly objected to the new WhatsApp privacy policy through which all kinds of personal data, payment transactions, contacts, location and other vital information of a person using WhatsApp will be acquired by it and can be used for any purpose by the platform.

In a communication sent to Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, CAIT demanded that the government immediately restrict WhatsApp from implementing the new policy or put a ban on WhatsApp and its parent company Facebook.

The Centre last month asked the Delhi High Court to restrain instant messenger app WhatsApp from implementing its new privacy policy.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), in an affidavit filed before the High Court, stated that WhatsApp’s new privacy policy was not in tune with the IT (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2011.

The IT Ministry said WhatsApp’s new privacy policy “fails to specify types of sensitive personal data being collected”.

According to the Idec in Brazil, “there is a lack of clear information to users on the upcoming changes and their consequences”.

“There are strong indications that the company disrespects the consumer protection code and the civil framework of the Internet and did not adequately adapt to the new data protection legislation,” Idec argued.

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