Delhi HC adjourns WhatsApp privacy policy matter to March 1

While refusing to issue a notice to WhatsApp, the bench asked the petitioner that every other mobile app has similar terms and conditions, therefore, how does WhatsApp prejudice him

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jan 25, 2021 6:36 PM
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The Delhi High Court today said that it is not mandatory to download WhatsApp, while hearing a plea seeking an injunction against messaging app's updated privacy policy. The matter has been adjourned to March 1 for further hearing after the bench observed that WhatsApp is responding to the questions raised by the government.

The plea was filed by Delhi-based advocate Chaitanya Rohilla through advocate Manohar Lal. Rohilla has challenged WhatsApp's new privacy policy contending that it is against the fundamental rights as enshrined in the Constitution of India.

"It is not mandatory to download WhatsApp on your mobile and it is voluntary. If you want to choose not to download WhatsApp, you can," a single bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said.

Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, who was appearing for the Centre, informed the court that the government has sought WhatsApp's response on the issue. He also said that the government is concerned about the way in which Indian users are being treated differently than the European users of the platform.

While refusing to issue a notice to WhatsApp, the bench asked the petitioner that every other mobile app has similar terms and conditions, therefore, how does the Facebook-owned messaging platform prejudice him.

Recently, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had urged WhatsApp to withdraw the proposed changes to the Privacy Policy. In a letter to WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart, the MeitY had said that the platform should respect the informational privacy, freedom of choice and data security of Indian citizens. MeitY had also asked WhatsApp to respond to critical queries on its privacy and data policy within a week.

WhatsApp has come under intense scrutiny ever since it started notifying users about the updated privacy policy. The platform has postponed the implementation of the new policy by three months to 15th May. It was to come under effect from 8th February.

 

Concerned about the safety of their individual data, consumers have been moving to other apps like Signal and Telegram despite repeated clarification from WhatsApp that the personal chats of users are encrypted and safe.

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