Senior advocate Harish Salve, representing WhatsApp, told the court that the new policy had been voluntarily put on hold and users would not be compelled to accept them. The company also issued a statement after the hearing, saying that they would continue to remind users about the new terms of service until the Data Protection Bill comes into effect.
Addressing the fears of millions of users, WhatsApp said that the privacy of its users was a top priority and the “…recent update does not change the privacy of people’s personal messages. Its purpose is to provide additional information about how people can interact with businesses if they choose to do so.”
There are over 500 million WhatsApp users in India and is the company’s biggest market. However, such gimmicks by the company can be costly. At the height of the controversy in February, some users switched over to rival messaging apps. Although the numbers may not be overwhelmingly massive, it can cause significant problems further down the line. After all, it is the little grains of sand that make the vast desert.