The government has given seven days to WhatsApp to respond to the notice and if no satisfactory response is received, necessary steps in consonance with law will be taken, the letter detailed.
In fulfilment of its sovereign responsibility to protect the rights and interests of Indian citizens, the government will consider various options available to it under laws in India, the letter added.
The Ministry has also strongly taken up the issue of WhatsApp's “discriminatory treatment” to Indian users vis-a-vis users in Europe.
It has stated that: "As you are doubtlessly aware, many Indian citizens depend on WhatsApp to communicate in everyday life. It is not just problematic, but also irresponsible, for WhatsApp to leverage this position to impose unfair terms and conditions on Indian users, particularly those that discriminate against Indian users vis-à-vis users in Europe."
It is pertinent to mention here that WhatsApp had faced severe backlash over user concerns that data was being shared with its parent company, Facebook.
The Ministry has also taken the same stand in the Delhi High Court, where this matter is sub-judice, the letter pointed out.
Update: WhatsApp spoke to Gadgets 360 and sent the following statement.
“We continue to engage with the government and we reaffirm what we said before that this update does not impact the privacy of personal messages for anyone.
Our goal is to provide information about new options we are building that people will have, to message a business on WhatsApp, in the future. While the majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them, we appreciate some people haven't had the chance to do so yet. No accounts were deleted on May 15 because of this update and no one in India lost functionality of WhatsApp either. We will follow up with reminders to people over the next several weeks. We're grateful for the important role WhatsApp plays in people's lives and we'll take every opportunity to explain how we protect people's personal messages and private information."
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