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    WhatsApp privacy policy places users in 'take it or leave it' situation, forces into agreement: HC

    WhatsApp privacy policy places users in 'take it or leave it' situation, forces into agreement: HC

    WhatsApp privacy policy places users in 'take it or leave it' situation, forces into agreement: HC
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

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    The high court's verdict came while dismissing appeals of WhatsApp and Facebook against an order rejecting their challenge to a probe ordered by the CCI into the instant messaging platform's updated privacy policy of 2021.

    The Delhi High Court has held that WhatsApp's 2021 privacy policy places its users in a "take it or leave it" situation, virtually forcing them into an agreement by providing a mirage of choices and then sharing their data with its parent company Facebook. The High Court's verdict came while dismissing appeals of WhatsApp and Facebook against an order rejecting their challenge to a probe ordered by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) into the instant messaging platform's updated privacy policy of 2021.
    A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said the single judge's April 22, 2021 order was well-reasoned and the appeals are devoid of merit and substance that would warrant the interference of this court. While the judgement was pronounced by the division bench on Thursday, it was uploaded on the court's website on Friday.
    WhatsApp had argued before the division bench of the court that the CCI cannot probe a policy that has now been kept in abeyance to await the fate of the Data Protection Bill as well as the decision of the Supreme Court and the high court on issues concerning the legality of the policy.
    Facebook had argued that there was no prima facie material in the case against it and the CCI cannot investigate it in a "creeping fashion".
    The High Court noted that the instant messaging platform, WhatsApp, occupies a dominant position in the market for OTT (over-the-top) messaging apps through smartphones in India. In April last year, a single judge of the high court refused to interdict the investigation directed by the CCI on the petitions moved by WhatsApp LLC and Facebook Inc. — now Meta platforms.
    In January last year, the CCI on its own had decided to look into WhatsApp's updated privacy policy based on news reports regarding the same.
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