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, sources informed.
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, sources 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 source pointed out.