During the heading, WhatsApp, for its part, clarified that there are different regulations in Europe compared to those in India, and that the Meta-owned social messaging platform is trying to do its best to comply with different regulations in different regions.
WhatsApp's submission wqs in in response to an argument made by the petitioner in the case that, as far as privacy is concerned, WhatsApp offers a higher grade of protection measures and privacy policies to European users, as opposed to their Indian counterpets. And this is something that was pointed out even by the Solicitor General, who, while clarifying the position of the Centre, said there can be no discriminatory treatment and that there has to be uniformity — the highest standards of privacy need to be maintained with respect to Indian users.
What's interesting is that the Supreme Court also remarked that WhatsApp has admitted to having differential standards, even though India boasts of the largest number of users of WhatsApp.
The key takeaways from the hearing are — the Solicitor General said the issue needs to be put in abeyance as the Centre is in the midst of coming out with a new data protection regime.
The new rgime could be enacted during the winter session of the Parliament, a point the apex court took note of and said it will give the Centre time till the winter session to pass a law.
But if a law does not come into effect guaranteeing the protection of data security, then in January, the Supreme Court will resume hearing this case and will decide the issue. So all stakeholders are waiting with bated breath as far as government's moves are concerned on a data protection regime.
For more, watch the accompanying video