“WhatsApp prima facie seems to be treating the (Indian) users with an all-or-nothing approach. This leverages social significance of WhatsApp to force users into a bargain which may infringe (upon privacy and data security),” added Sharma.
and its companies.
The primary contention of the petitioner is that the new policy ‘virtually gives a 360-degree profile into a person’s online activity’, without any ‘government oversight’, and ‘takes away the choice’ of a user to not share their data with other Facebook-owned apps and third-party apps.
The petition has highlighted there is no clarity on the extent to which data will be shared. It raises questions about what will be done with the sensitive data of users.
Referring to the petition, Sharma said the concerned authorities are looking at the Data Protection Bill. He said it is being discussed by the Joint Parliamentary Committee. The submissions were made before a single judge Bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva.
Last week in court, the counsel for the petitioner, advocate Manohar Lal, had contended that there should be some law, as everything that a user was doing was being analysed by WhatsApp. This included personal messages and browsing history.
The court had said that several other platforms also did the same and not WhatsApp alone. The senior counsel appearing for WhatsApp and Facebook
had submitted that the private WhatsApp chats were completely encrypted. They had said the petition itself was not maintainable.