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Jurisdiction To Investigate WhatsApp Privacy Policy Not Closed: CCI to Delhi HC

The court was hearing appeals filed by WhatsApp and its parent company Meta.

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The Delhi High Court was on Monday, 22 August, informed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) that its jurisdiction to probe WhatsApp's new privacy policy was "not closed" as the policy has neither been withdrawn nor stayed.

The court was hearing appeals filed by WhatsApp and its parent company Meta, which had challenged a single bench order that had declined to interfere in the CCI's investigation into the said policy of the online messaging platform, LiveLaw reported.

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After hearing all the stakeholders, the division bench comprising Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad reserved the order in the case.

Although the case is pending in the Supreme Court, N Venkatraman, Additional Solicitor General appearing for CCI, submitted to the court that CCI's investigation into the policy cannot be stopped by a judicial process as it had jurisdiction to enquire about the privacy policy.

Countering his submissions, Advocate Tejas Karia, appearing for WhatsApp, said that the authority must wait for the findings of the apex court even though it has jurisdiction. If the highest authority of the country (Supreme Court) is examining the validity of the policy, then it may not be open for any authority to probe the case, he submitted, as per LiveLaw.

Asserting that WhatsApp's new privacy policy on sharing users' personal data with parent company Facebook was "neither fully transparent nor based on specific voluntary consent of users," CCI had ordered a probe into the policy.

(With inputs from LiveLaw.)

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