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WhatsApp privacy: Centre tells Delhi HC policy not conforming to Indian IT laws; case adjourned to June 3

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The Centre on Monday told the Delhi High Court that it views the new privacy policy of WhatsApp as a violation of the Indian Information Technology (IT) law and rules, and sought directions to the social media platform to make it clear whether it was confirming to the same. The central government's claim was made before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh during hearing of several pleas challenging WhatsApp's new privacy policy, which according to the platform has come into effect from May 15 and has not been deferred.

The Centre on Monday told the Delhi High Court that it views the new privacy policy of WhatsApp as a violation of the Indian Information Technology (IT) law and rules, and sought directions to the social media platform to make it clear whether it was confirming to the same. The central government’s claim was made before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh during hearing of several pleas challenging WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, which according to the platform has come into effect from May 15 and has not been deferred.
The Centre pointed out that there are 7 infractions committed by WhatsApp by way of this new privacy policy. The government further stated that WhatsApp’s privacy policy has also violated the Supreme Court’s judgement in the privacy matter which had held privacy to be a fundamental right. The government has also written to the WhatsApp management to conform to the Indian laws.
On the other hand, WhatsApp has rejected the government’s stance and said that there are no infractions of any Indian law. WhatsApp further told the bench that while its new privacy policy has come into effect from May 15, it would not start deleting accounts of those users who have not accepted it and would try to encourage them to get on board. The platform said there was no universal or uniform time limit after which it will start to delete accounts as each user would be dealt with it on case-to-case basis.
When the matter was initially listed before a single judge, the Centre had said that WhatsApp was treating Indian users differently from Europeans over opting out of its new privacy policy which was a matter of concern for the government and it was looking into the issue. It had also said that was a matter of concern that Indian users were being “unilaterally” subjected to the change in privacy policy by the instant messaging platform and that the government was looking into it.
The court listed the matter for further hearing on June 3.
(Text input: PTI)

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