Indian Parliament Panel Will Investigate Facebook On WhatsApp’s Privacy Terms

Facebook executives will handle questions from an Indian parliamentary panel on Thursday about the changes to WhatsApp’s privacy, a source said, days after the messaging platform was asked by the country’s technology ministry to extract them.

The source said, the panel will ask why Facebook needed to change WhatsApp’s privacy policy and how it will impact users. The messaging platform earlier this month stirred up a storm when it informed users it was preparing a new privacy policy, under which it could share limited user data, including phone number and location, with Facebook and its group firms. Demand for rival applications such as Signal and Telegram surged on privacy concerns and WhatsApp last week decided to delay the new policy launch to May from February.

India is WhatsApp’s biggest market, having 400 million users, and the messaging service has big plans for the country’s growing digital payments space, including selling health insurance via partners. Facebook last year invested $5.7 billion in the digital unit of Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate Reliance Industries, with a big part of that aimed at drawing in ten of millions of traditional shop owners to use digital payments via WhatsApp.