HC Seeks Centre’s Stand on Plea against WhatsApp’s Privacy Policy

Delhi High Court sought the Centre’s response on a petition challenging the new privacy policy of WhatsApp.

2 min read
The Delhi High Court sought the Central government’s response on a petition challenging the new privacy policy of the social networking platform. Image used for representation. 

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday, 3 February, sought the Central government's response on a petition challenging the new privacy policy of social networking platform, WhatsApp.

A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, seeking their stand on the plea by March 15.

Prior to this, another petition regarding the new privacy policy matter was filed in the court, but this is the first time a notice has been issued to the Central government in the matter.

Notably, WhatsApp has asked users to either give their consent to share data with Facebook or lose their accounts after February 8. The policy was, however, put on hold till May 15 due to a massive backlash by the users.

The petitioner, Seema Singh, through advocate Meghan, argued that the impact of the WhatsApp policy can cause a catastrophe with respect to the data of the citizens.

The plea submitted that the fissures in law with respect to data are quite conspicuous and a framework to regulate the same is the need of the hour.

It has sought direction from the court to the government to frame rules, guidelines, and regulations to protect the privacy and data of the citizens from all the apps and organisations operating in India.

The court has also been urged to direct the Centre to tell WhatsApp to either roll back their policy or provide an option to opt-out of the January 4, 2021 privacy policy, and also to provide the users who have accepted the privacy policy to be given another option to choose for themselves.

Besides this, the petitioner prayed for the right to seek confirmation, access, and rectification, the right to objection, restriction, and portability of the data, and the right to be forgotten as being part of Article 21, and intrinsic to the right to privacy.

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