Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Delhi High Court judge recuses herself from hearing petition against WhatsApp privacy policy

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Delhi High Court judge Justice Pratibha M. Singh on Friday recuses herself from hearing the petition challenging the new Privacy Policy introduced by WhatsApp alleging it violates the Right to Privacy provided under Part III of the Constitution of India.

The Court directed the Registry to list the matter before a different bench on Monday. The petitioner had contended that the new privacy policy introduced by WhatsApp is against the Right to Privacy and affirmed by the Supreme Court of India in the case of Justice K.S. Puttaswamy and Ors. Vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors.

The petition has been filed by Advocate Chaitanya Rohilla seeking a direction to the Central Government to lay down guidelines to ensure that WhatsApp does not share any data of its users with any third party or Facebook and its companies for any purpose and pass an injunction on the updated privacy policy of WhatsApp.

The petitioner has alleged that the certain clauses in the new privacy policy directly hit the fundamental rights of the individual that includes:

i. Collection of device and connection-specific information;

ii. Location Information;

iii. Interaction with Businesses using WhatsApp Services, businesses may provide information about their interactions with you;

iv. WhatsApp may receive information about the user from third parties being used by user;

v. “WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information (see here) with, the other Facebook Companies”;

vi. “WhatsApp shares information globally, both internally within the Facebook Companies and externally with our partners and service providers, and with those with whom you communicate around the world, in accordance with this Privacy Policy”; etc.

The plea has further stated that “The updated Privacy Policy introduced by WhatsApp won’t be applicable for the European Region owing to the data protection law in place there.

Also Read: WhatsApp cedes space to other apps over privacy opacity

WhatsApp is legally bound to not share data with Facebook in the European Region because it’s a contravention of the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation.

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