WhatsApp new privacy policy challenged in Delhi High Court

The petitioner contends that WhatsApp’s new privacy policy authorises the company to look into the virtual activities of the users.

A petitioner has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging WhatsApp’s new privacy policy in Delhi High Court, contending that the new data terms and policies authorise the company to look into the virtual activities of the users.

The petition demands the High Court to stop the new policy of WhatsApp with immediate effect. 

Advocate Chaitanya Rohilla, in his petition, stated that updates of new policies of the company are a threat to the privacy of the users. Right to privacy has been declared a fundamental right by the Supreme Court. 

Facebook is the parent company of WhatsApp.

"This level of insight into a person's private and personal activities is done without any government oversight at present or regulatory supervision. Moreover, in the absence of a data protection authority, it leaves the users with a company's assurances and privacy policies," the plea states.

The petition states that platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook have already been sharing the users' data with the third party in an unauthorised manner and also informed that the new privacy policy has been rolled out without seeking permission from the government.

The petitioner has also sought a direction upon the Central Government to exercise of its powers under Section 79 (2) (c) read with Section 87 (2) (zg) of the 

Information Technology Act and ensure that WhatsApp does not share any data of its users with any third party or Facebook and its companies for any purpose whatsoever.

Also Read: CAIT urges govt to ban WhatsApp & Facebook over new privacy policy

WhatsApp updated its privacy policy last week making it mandatory for its users to accept those terms and conditions to avail its services in future or lose the account after February 8.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp has released a clarification stating that "your privacy won't be affected if you don’t use the two optional features". However, it has mentioned that any chats with businesses will be shared with Facebook and ads will be shown based on these chats.







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