Publicise privacy policy pledge: Supreme Court to WhatsApp | India News


NEW DELHI: Refuting allegations that it is sharing personal and sensitive information of users with others, including its parent company Meta (earlier Facebook), WhatsApp on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that all messages on its platform are encrypted, which can’t be seen even by it, and assured that it would not remove any user from using the social media platform for not consenting to its controversial privacy policy which has been challenged in court.
At the outset of the hearing, solicitor general Tushar Mehta told a five-judge Constitution bench of Justices KM Joseph, Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy and C T Ravikumar that the government intends to introduce in Parliament the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill in the second half of the budget session and the law framed will address the grievances raised on breach of privacy by intermediaries.
Lawyers appearing for various intermediaries including WhatsApp, Meta, Twitter and Google also seconded the view of the Centre that the court should defer the hearing as the law would soon be framed to protect user data.
Pressing for deferment of the hearing, senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Arvind Datar and Mukul Rohatgi told the court that they are also to appear before other Constitution benches which are scheduled in the coming weeks and it would be difficult for them to appear in the WhatsApp matter.
They also contended that the court would not have to adjudicate the case as the grievances of data sharing by intermediaries would get addressed by the Parliament with the framing of the law for data protection.
Sibal, appearing for WhatsApp, submitted that the company had already given an undertaking to the Centre that users would be allowed to use the platform even after not accepting the platform’s policy and this protection would continue till the data protection law is framed. He said there are 60 crore people who are using the App but not a single complaint has been filed since 2009 against the company for breach of privacy and sharing data of users.
Recording Sibal’s statement, the bench directed WhatsApp to give wide publicity of its undertaking that users would not be affected and said that full page advertisement be published in national newspaper twice to make people know about it.

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