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Centre tells Delhi HC to restrain WhatsApp from implementing its new Privacy Policy

It has also alleged that the new policy further mandated that the person either accepts the new privacy policy in operation by February 8, 2021.

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The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in its counter-affidavit sought direction from the Delhi High Court restraining WhatsApp from implementing its new privacy policy and terms of service dated January 4.

A divisional bench of the Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh while accepting the counter affidavit filed by the Centeral Government adjourned the matter for further hearing.

The plea filed by Dr. Seema Singh, Meghan and Vikram Singh states that the new WhatsApp privacy policy of Jan 2021 is violative of Article 21 which enshrines the Right to privacy. It has also alleged that the new policy further mandated that the person either accepts the new policy in operation or will lose access to WhatsApp by the February 8, 2021.

MeitY in its affidavit referring to the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 submitted, “pending the passage of this Bill, the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the Rules made there under forms the extant regime on data protection, any privacy policy issued by a ‘body corporate’ such as Respondent No. 2 must comply with the requirements specified in the Act and the accompanying Rules.”

The court will hear the matter on April 20, 2021.

MeitY justified that the privacy policy violates 2011 rules on the 5 grounds mentioned below:

  • Fails to specify types of sensitive personal data being collected
  • Fails to notify user details of collection of sensitive personal information
  • Fails to provide an option to review or amend information
  • Fails to provide an option to withdraw consent retrospectively
  • Fails to guarantee further non-disclosure by third party

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