Raising objection to the new WhatsApp privacy policy, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has demanded that WhatsApp and Facebook be banned in the country.

WhatsApp has updated its new privacy policy and placed a notification saying that the users have to accept its new terms and conditions until February 8.

The CAIT in a communication to Union information and technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said through the new privacy policy, “all kinds of personal data, payment transactions, contacts, location and other vital information of a person who is using WhatsApp will be acquired by it and can be used for any purpose by WhatsApp”.

CAIT said Facebook has over 200 million users in India and enabling it to access data of every user can pose serious threat to not only the economy of the country but also to its security.

CAIT demanded that the government should immediately restrict WhatsApp from implementing the new policy or put a ban on WhatsApp and its parent company, Facebook.

“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 CAIT said.

“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,” the traders’ body said.

CAIT national president B. C. Bhartia and secretary general Praveen Khandelwal in a joint statement said: “The changed privacy policy of WhatsApp is an encroachment on privacy of an individual & runs against the basic fundamentals of Constitution of India and therefore the CAIT has demanded immediate intervention of the Government.”

“In its new privacy policy, WhatsApp is forcing the user to accept the new terms and it’s a common phenomenon that most of them without reading the terms would just go ahead and accept it without realising what WhatsApp is changing under the new terms.”

“It does not give a choice to the user to stay on the platform without accepting the revised terms which is also an encroachment on independence of a person.”

“How can a company operating in India force the users to accept its arbitrary and one-sided terms,” they questioned.

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