Strong data protection laws needed in Pakistan after WhatsApp privacy policy change

Written by Talha Ikram ·  46 sec read >

In a response to the new WhatsApp privacy policy that openly allows the sharing of user data with Facebook, the Minister of Science and Technology, Fawad Chaudhry, has said that the ministry is considering introducing strong data protection laws in the country to safeguard the data and privacy of its citizens.

He further said, “it is particularly disturbing that these new conditions do not apply to subscribers in the USA, UK and Europe,” terming the new policy discriminatory against the states that did not have data protection laws in place.

The minister also said that cybersecurity is a major concern and his ministry was working towards developing solutions to protect the personal data of subscribers. He felt that WhatsApp policy changes should have been made after wider consultation instead of the unilateral approach that it has shown.

WhatsApp has maintained that the personal messages of its users will be safe through end-to-end encryption and not even WhatsApp itself can read them. However, other information like location, IP addresses, operating systems, IMEI information will be shared with Facebook. It is still concerning that these terms and conditions will not be applied to residents of the EU as they are safeguarded by strong data protection laws but other users are forced to accept the policy or be relieved of their account.