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Notice Issued to the Union and Maharashtra Government on PIL Alleging Privacy Breach by Truecaller App :Bombay High Court

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The Bombay High Court issued notices to the union and Maharashtra government against the Truecaller app alleging its operation of shared data is illegal and a breach of privacy.

Petitioner’s submission

The PIL was initially filed stating that the Truecaller app shared data without the knowledge of the customers in an illegal way which resulted in the breach of privacy.  The petitioner submitted that the Truecaller app had collected the data of its users. The data was shared with some of its partners without the consent of the users and the place the liability of the data shared on the user. The petitioner further submitted that Truecaller had made a manipulative setup which had left the user with no choice. Moreover, the app itself registers the users for a unified payment interface service without their knowledge or consent or without any due process. It was further submitted that Google India, Bharti Airtel, ICICI Bank and other companies providing loans functioned as beneficiaries for the Truecaller app. The petitioner had further accused the government authorities for approving the app and permitting it to run without any proper checks which contradicted the information security practice rules. 

Petitioner’s prayer 

The petitioner had prayed to take proceedings against the Union, the Maharashtra government, the state IT department, Truecaller international LLP, ICICI bank and the national payment Corp as the respondent parties in this case. 

Court’s observation

The court had observed that the Truecaller through its mobile application had indulged in breach of data privacy of the citizens. It was further stated that such breach was contrary to data protection laws. The court had also heard the petitioner for some time and had an opinion that a notice was required to be issued to the respondents. 

Court’s Decision 

The High Court in pertaining to this issue had said that this was a fit case for issuing notices to the respondent and had directed the respondent parties to reply to the notice within three weeks. Further, the court had also permitted the petitioners to serve the respondents private notice and place on record affidavit of service. The court had also directed that if the respondents were served before the returnable date, the respondents were at liberty to file their reply affidavits. The court had moved the hearing to 29 July 2021.


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