WhatsApp's New Policy Violates Right To Privacy: Plea In Delhi High Court

Emma Sadleir New

Users' criticisms about the app's changed policies are rife and complaints about social media relating to personal data/information being misused are increasing.

The regulator said it's now analysing the privacy policy's impact on South African users and will meet again with representatives of Facebook.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Wednesday issued a statement regarding WhatsApp's new terms of service following growing concern regarding the messaging service.

Several high-profile startup founders and executives in India have also criticized WhatsApp's new data sharing policy.

The new Ts and Cs are compulsory and users will have to agree that WhatsApp can share their data with the tech company or they face losing access to their accounts. WhatsApp recently announced that it is updating its terms of service and privacy policies from February 8, 2021.

He sought to direct the Centre to lay down guidelines in the exercise of its powers under relevant sections of the Information Technology Act (IT Act) and under the Constitution to ensure that Respondent Whatsapp does not share any data of its users with any third party or Facebook and its companies for any objective whatsoever.

In a series of Tweets, the telecom regulator shared a clarification by Facebook and WhatsApp in view of the "concerns by general public".

Highlighting that WhatsApp has become an important mode of communication and is also being used to aide multiple Governmental functions as well, the petitioner also pointed out that the Supreme Court has allowed the service of summons via electronic mode, including WhatsApp.

"On both of those systems you can look at our download rates, over 10 million downloads, we've really seen a tremendous amount of usage and growth in the last three-four days".

The Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill of 2019 is in the Parliament but is yet to be passed.

"No. We're grateful that people continue to use and trust WhatsApp to communicate..."

In a blogpost earlier this week, WhatsApp emphasised that it does not share users' contact lists or data of groups with Facebook for advertisement purposes. "Again, these private chats are end-to-end encrypted so we can't see their content". Acton acknowledged that the recent spike in user addition may taper in the coming days as the controversy around WhatsApp cools down, but added that the entire episode has put the spotlight back on the importance of privacy and security of user data.

Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014.

More than two billion people in over 180 countries use the app, which is now available as a free download.

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