[WhatsApp Privacy Policy Row] Delhi High Court Issues Notice To Centre and WhatsApp Over Privacy Policy Issue

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CAIT files a Plea Against WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy in the Supreme Court

In connection with a petition, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notices to WhatsApp and the Centre. The petition sought framing of guidelines to protect the privacy and Data of users who are being collected by various social media sites and messaging applications.

The petition also sought a stay on the privacy policy of WhatsApp and an option to opt-out of sharing personal data with Facebook.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Prateek Jalan gave WhatsApp and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology time till March 19 to file their response.

Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma told the court earlier that the Personal Data Protection Bill is pending before the court and the Joint Parliamentary Committee is deliberating on the issue of data protection.

Sharma also told the court that on January 25th WhatsApp responded to the Government’s queries regarding the new WhatsApp privacy policy and it is under consideration.

In the petition which was filed by Dr. Seema Singh who is a Noida resident along with Meghan and Vikram who are Delhi residents, it was argued that the fissures in law with regard to the data are conspicuous and a framework of guidelines is necessary to regulate the same.

The petition says that there billions of people using social media and millions of WhatsApp users in India itself. Thus, information shared that is generally personal is more. In this situation, the information is susceptible to being misused if that particular media decides to sell or exploit the information to another third party.

There is another petition regarding WhatsApp privacy policy that is pending before the single bench of the High Court but no notice has been issued till now regarding it to either WhatsApp or the Government.

After the government sought a response from WhatsApp last month, the single-bench postponed the hearing of the matter to March 1st. The case started when it was argued that a media giant like WhatsApp sharing its consumer’s personal information to a third party which clearly violates the Right to Privacy and is alleged to be a threat to national security. Owing to the outcry against the new privacy policy, the Facebook-owned messaging application had to postpone its implementation till May 15.


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