That is the way to regulate the likes of whatsApp
Facebook is accountable for many sins of omission and commission, and whether buying WhatsApp to pre-empt competition is one of them is being determined by a judicial process in the US. Compared to these, WhatsApp’s decision to change its user agreement to make it clear that it will share some data with Facebook properties is a minor infraction.
Only the innocent fail to appreciate that when you get a service for free, you pay for it with your data. Google, for example, knows not only who you correspond with over mail and chat, but what your browsing habits are, where all you go, what your engagements are, as well. It targets its ads better, using this information, and makes more money.
Instead of crying about unilateral changes in the terms of service, what India needs to do is to put in place a reasonable law on protecting data. The European Union has the General Data Protection Regulation, which lays down clear-cut rules for protecting EU citizens’ data by any service provider.
In fact, WhatsApp is more rattled by mass defection of its users to rival Signal and Telegram messaging services than by legally unenforceable demands from the government. WhatsApp user groups are major sites of ideological indoctrination and this user base is confused whether to stay on or migrate, creating the uproar in social media.
As the recent publication of detailed WhatsApp messages of a celebrity journalist shows, data leaks happen not so much at the level of the messaging service as at the level of those that lay their hands on it. Yes, a data protection law is vital, but so is its rigorous enforcement beyond the realm of technology providers