Govt Asks Delhi HC to Stop WhatsApp From Enforcing Privacy Updates

WhatsApp announced to go ahead with its privacy policy update despite facing backlash from its users.

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WhatsApp has been criticised for implementing its controversial privacy policy
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The Indian government has urged Delhi High Court to restrain WhatsApp from implementing its new privacy policy, according to news agency ANI.

The Centre informed the court that the Data Protection Bill 2019, which introduces a ‘robust regime’ will limit the abilities of entities such as WhatsApp to issue privacy policies that does not align with appropriate standards of data protection, reported LiveLaw.

On Wednesday, 17 March, Facebook-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp was asked to review its privacy policy, Minister of State for IT and Communications, Sanjay Dhotre informed the Lok Sabha.

“Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) took cognisance of the WhatsApp announcement of its new Privacy Policy stated to be applicable to Indian users. To safeguard the interest of Indian users, Meity has asked WhatsApp to review the proposed privacy policy changes and also to explain the rationale of the same,” said Dhotre, reported news agency PTI.

‘Take It or Leave It’

Cross messaging platform WhatsApp has been criticised for implementing its controversial privacy policy, which reportedly is said to read private messages of its users.

However, WhatsApp announced to go ahead with its controversial privacy policy update despite facing backlash from millions of its users.

Nevertheless, WhatsApp in a blog post recently informed its users to accept the new privacy policy before 15 May or they might have to leave the platform.

WhatsApp vs Government

On 15 February, the Supreme Court issued notices to WhatsApp seeking information and undertaking an oath that the personal data of users is not being shared to any ‘third person’.

The applicant Karmanya Singh Sareen challenged the latest privacy policy update, which insisted users to accept the new rule, which allows the company to share the data with Facebook, and failing to do so, will make users lose their account.

“What we have heard and read in the media, people think if A messages to B, the whole circuit to whom the message goes is known to Facebook/WhatsApp,” said a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde.

Responding to the government, WhatsApp in an emailed statement told PTI, “We continue to engage with the government and are grateful for the opportunity to answer questions that we received from them.”

“Due to misinformation and based on feedback from our users, we have pushed back the timeline of acceptance of WhatsApp's terms of service and privacy policy to the 15th of May,” read the statement by WhatsApp to news agency PTI.

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