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New Delhi, Oct 19 : Airtels privacy policy statement has been updated after a controversy over sexual orientation being part of the personal information that can be accessed.

The privacy policy of Airtel mentioned that it can collect users' personal information and data like genetic information, sexual orientation, racial and ethnic origin, religious and philosophical belief, trade union membership, health data, financial information and political opinion and share these with third parties.

While signing the privacy policy, many users may not have realised the enormity of the details that can be accessed.

The policy said, "Personal information collected and held by us may include but not limited to your name, father's name, mother's name, spouse's name, date of birth, current and previous addresses, telephone number, mobile phone number, email address, occupation and information contained in the documents used as proof of identity and proof of address.

"Airtel and its authorised third parties may collect, store, process the following types of sensitive personal information such as genetic data, biometric data, racial or ethnic origin, political opinion, religious and philosophical belief, trade union membership, data concerning health, data concerning natural personal sex life or sexual orientation, password, financial information (details of bank account, credit card, debit card, or other payment instrument details), physiological information for providing our products, services and for use of our website.

"We may also hold information related to your utilisation of our services which may include your call details, your browsing history on our website, location details and additional information provided by you while using our services." Airtel clarified in a statement, "We have come across some reports regarding our privacy policy as stated on our web site".

"We would like to state that the privacy of our customers is of paramount importance to us," it added.

Airtel said, "The generic content of the definitions of what constitutes personal data as laid down by the IT Act are expansive, which had been inadvertently put on our website. This was a clerical error," the company said.

"We thank those who brought this error to our attention. We emphatically confirm that we do not collect any personal information relating to genetic data, religious or political beliefs, health or sexual orientation etc.," Airtel said.

"The policy which we have always used to collect data has been duly updated for the benefit of our customers," the company said.

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