New WhatsApp Privacy Policy: Supreme Court Declines To Consider Plea Filed Against It

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On Friday, the Supreme Court refused to consider a petition or plea seeking direction from WhatsApp instant messaging platform to roll back its latest privacy policy. It was on the ground that it is potentially violation of laws and can affect the stability of the nation.

A bench led by Chief Justice S A Bobde noted that the Delhi High Court has already heard this matter. The petitioner can choose the best solution.

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The bench, which also included Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, heard a plea lodged by the All India Traders Confederation seeking instructions from the Centre to interfere in the matter and structure guidelines for major technology-based companies. This include WhatsApp Inc., Facebook Inc. and Facebook India Online Services Private Limited.

More About The Filed Plea:

The plea, lodged by lawyer Vivek Narayan Sharma, alleged that the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was appropriate because of the Centre’s alleged failure to fulfill its constitutional duty and obligation to protect the rights of the people of India to privacy and freedom of speech and expression.

“The respondent no.1 — Union of India — has granted permission to respondent nos 2 to 4 to run the WhatsApp application in India, but has failed to play the role of a guardian to protect the fundamental rights of citizens in as much as WhatsApp, which is rendering essential public services by enabling citizens to communicate, has recently imposed unconstitutional privacy conditions which are not only violative of the law but can impact the national security of the country,” it had claimed.

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The plea had said, “…on January 4, 2021, WhatsApp introduced its new privacy policy through which it scrapped its ‘opt-out policy’ and from now on, users will have to compulsorily consent to share their data with Facebook and its group companies for using the platform. The new policy will come into effect from February 8, 2021”. 

The petitioner argued that revised privacy policy of WhatsApp will adversely affect the basic right of people to privacy. And hence, it is therefore profoundly opposed to their representation.

“Thus, the technology giants who deal with such data must have a fiduciary duty to ensure that the information they so possess and collect from citizens and businesses must be safe. It is not used for their own commercial gains without the consent of the users. It is also the responsibility of the State to guarantee and ensure the protection of the personal and private data and information of the citizens”. Plea further had said.

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Parth Dubey
I am Parth Dubey, currently an undergraduate. I have been working as a content writer for the past 6 months and have worked in various fields with many people and firms. I firmly believe that writing is not just about money making or attracting people, it's more about knowledge and information, along with feelings.

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