Social Media

WhatsApp privacy update: Indian users being treated differently, says Centre

The central government told the Delhi High Court on Monday that it is a matter of concern that WhatsApp is handling Indian and European users differently in terms of privacy. WhatsApp told the court, meanwhile, that the Indian government has requested some clarity on its current privacy policies and is reacting to the correspondence.

Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma told the court during the hearing of a lawsuit questioning WhatsApp’s current privacy policies that the government has given WhatsApp a whole list of questions.

“The privacy policy offered by WhatsApp to its European users specifically prohibits the use of any information shared with a Facebook company… This clause is not included in the privacy policy offered to Indians and Indian citizens who form a very significant part of the user base of WhatsApp,” said Sharma, adding that “certainly a cause of concern” is this unequal treatment.

whatsapp privacy update

Sharma added that the government is also worried about the manner in which Indian users have been exposed quite arbitrarily to these reforms by not granting Indian users the option to opt-out…

He also argued that it seems that WhatsApp prima facie approaches consumers with an all-or-nothing strategy. “This leverages WhatsApp’s significant meaning to force users into a bargain that may infringe on data privacy and personal security interests,” he said.

Sharma also found out that the problem was clearly between two private parties. However, he said, “But WhatsApp’s scope and expansion makes it a German reason for the implementation of reasonable and cogent policies.”

On Monday, WhatsApp told the court that it was referring to the government’s letter. “We’re reacting to that. This is just disinformation,’ said Kapil Sibal, Senior Advocate, who represents WhatsApp.

On Monday, Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva postponed the hearing of the case to 1 March in order to allow the government, in the meantime, to make a decision. WhatsApp programmes are voluntary and a person may opt not to use them, the court earlier noted.

The petition also notes that the revised privacy policy would not be valid ‘because of the data security regulations in effect in the European Region’ and contends that, in the absence of any federal program, it was applied ‘in the most monopolistic manner’ in India. It seeks advice or guidance to ensure that all improvements to WhatsApp’s privacy policies are carried out solely in compliance with the basic rights provided by the constitution.

Facebook Comments

Show More

Leave a Reply

Back to top button