[WhatsApp Privacy Policy Row] It’s a Private App, Don’t Use It; Says Delhi High Court

On Monday, while hearing a petition regarding the privacy policy of WhatsApp, the Delhi High Court said,

“It is a private app. Don’t join it. It is a voluntary thing, don’t accept it. Use some other app.”

As the court accepted the Privacy Policy of the said application, it noted that the acceptance of the Privacy Policy of the user application was a ‘voluntary’ thing and people can choose to not accept it/use it or join in the platform in case one does not agree to its terms and conditions.

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva was the one who was resent during the hearing of the petition which was filed by a lawyer, challenging WhatsApp’s new privacy policy which was slated to come into effect in February but has been deferred until May.

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While addressing the issue of the privacy policy of WhatsApp, the Court remarked,

“You’d be surprised as to what all you are consenting to!”,

with regard to other applications apart from WhatsApp.

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The Court said,

Even Google Maps captures all your data and stores it.

The Court further that it could not understand what data would be leaked according to the petitioner and since the issue required consideration, it will be listed on January 25th due to paucity of time on Monday.

The petition contends that the updated privacy policy of WhatsApp violates users Right to Privacy under the Constitution of India.

The plea which was filed in the court claimed that the new policy of WhatsApp allows full access to a user’s online activity without there being any supervision by the Government.

The users, in accordance with the new privacy policy, can either accept it or exit the app, but they can not opt for a third option of ‘not sharing data with other Facebook-owned/other parties.

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The applications, WhatsApp and Facebook were represented in the Court by Senior Advocates, Mr. Kapil Sibal and Mr. Mukul Rohatgi. The respondent in the matter simply argued that the plea was not maintainable in the court and many of the issues that were being raised in the same did not have any foundation whatsoever.

The respondent further mentioned that the private chat messages between family and friends would remain encrypted and cannot be stored by WhatsApp and this position would not change under the new policy.

“The change in policy would only affect the business chats on WhatsApp”

said the counsel representing the applications.

The lawyer appearing for the petitioner claimed that the option not to agree with the new policy was given to users in European nations, but not in India.


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