India today sent out a stern warning to Whatsapp for its new privacy policies stating in a court that the instant messaging app was treating its Indian users differently in comparison to those in Europe. The message was part of the federal government’s submission in a court hearing a petition over the new data-sharing policy.
Appearing on behalf of the federal government, the additional solicitor general (ASG) Chetan Sharma said Whatsapp was treating its Indian users differently compared to the Europeans and the matter was one of great concern as it meant users were being “unilaterally” subjected to the changes in the privacy policies.
The matter was brought up before justice Sanjeev Sachdeva in the Delhi High Court which is hearing a petition against the new policies implemented by Whatsapp which makes it mandatory for users to agree to share data with Facebook, its parent company, ostensibly for better targeted serving of ads.
Prior to the arguments in the case, the court had, on January 18, suggested that it was not mandatory to download Whatsapp, which had the freedom to create its own privacy rules and regulations. The judge had also observed that the Personal Data Protection legislation was in the Parliament.
He informed the court that the government had already taken a view of the situation and communicated to Whatsapp seeking some information. On its part, Whatsapp, via its counsel Kapil Sibal, said the government note was under consideration and the company would respond at the next hearing fixed for March 1, 2021.
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