Delhi HC on WhatsApp privacy: ‘It’s voluntary, user can delete it’
- January 18,2021 By IndianTelevision Team
"It is a private app. Don't join it. What is your grievance?... I can't understand your concern. If you feel WhatsApp will compromise data, delete WhatsApp," a single-judge bench of justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said, according to reports.
The court further pointed out to the petitioner that if the terms and conditions of most mobile apps are read, users would be surprised as to what all they are consenting to. When the petitioner claimed that WhatsApp and Facebook analyse behaviour of users from the data that is collected, justice Sachdeva responded: “Not only WhatsApp, all applications do that… Do you use Google maps? Do you know it captures and shares your data?”
Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for WhatsApp and Facebook, submitted that the private WhatsApp chats are completely encrypted and are not viewed by either platform and aren’t shared with any third parties either. The matter has been adjourned till 25 January.
With the new policy in place, WhatsApp can share data including location and phone number with Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. It "virtually gives a 360-degree profile into a person's online activity", without any "government oversight", the petition read.
There is no clarity on the extent to which data will be shared and what will be done with the sensitive information of users. WhatsApp users have to agree to the updated policy by 8 February to keep using the app. This less than transparent policy has sparked concerns among Indian users, with many moving to alternate chat apps like Signal and Telegram. In light of this, the company has issued clarifications and run a print campaign to gain back user trust.