The Centre said that WhatApp is doing this under a guise to shift the existing users committed to its policy. It emphasised that the company has indulged in anti-user practice by obtaining “trick consent” from its users.
The Centre said that WA currently has access to sensitive personal and business data of hundreds of millions of Indian users and has also acquired a role as an “essential digital service” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Competition Commission Of India (CCI) in its prima facie opinion said that: “Through its exploitative and exclusionary conduct, in the garb of policy update, WhatsApp has contravened the provisions of Section 4 of the Competitions Act, 2002”.
The CCI believes that a detailed and thorough investigation is needed to ascertain the full extent, scope and impact of data sharing through the involuntary consent of users.
“The current notifications as being pushed by respondent no.1 on its users whether existing or new is against very grain of prima facie opinion of the CCI order,” added the affidavit.
The PDP Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha in 2019. “Upon enactment, this law will provide a robust regime on data protection which will limit the ability of entities such as respondent no. 1 issuing privacy policies which do not align with appropriate standards of security and data protection,” the affidavit stated.