High Court Restrain WhatsApp from implementing new privacy policy: Centre urges...

Restrain WhatsApp from implementing new privacy policy: Centre urges Delhi HC

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New Delhi, Mar 19 (ILNS) The Union government today urged the Delhi High Court to restrain WhatsApp from implementing its new privacy policy and terms of service.

A divisional bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh, while accepting the counter affidavit filed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, adjourned the matter for further hearing to April 20.

The plea, filed by Dr Seema Singh, Meghan and Vikram Singh, stated that the new WhatsApp privacy policy of January 4, 2021 is violative of Article 21, which enshrines the Right to Privacy. It also alleged that the new policy further mandated that the person either accepts the new policy in operation or will lose access to WhatsApp by February 8, 2021.

The Ministry, in its affidavit referring to the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 submitted, “Pending the passage of this Bill, the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Rules made there under forms the extant regime on data protection, any privacy policy issued by a ‘body corporate’ such as Respondent No 2 must comply with the requirements specified in the Act and the accompanying Rules.”

The Ministry justified that the privacy policy violates 2011 rules on five grounds.

It said the privacy policy of Facebook-owned messaging service provider fails to specify the types of sensitive personal data being collected, notify user details of collection of sensitive personal information, provide an option to review or amend information, provide an option to withdraw consent retrospectively, and fails to guarantee further non-disclosure by third party. ILNS/SNG/RJ

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