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WhatsApp new policy: Delhi High Court says it is a private app, don't use if you don't like it

Hearing a petition filed against the new WhatsApp policy, Delhi High Court said that it was a private app and that people were free to not use it.

twitter-logoIndia Today Tech | January 18, 2021 | Updated 14:45 IST
(Picture: Reuters)

Highlights

  • A petition against new WhatsApp policy has been filed in Delhi Court.
  • The court observed that all apps use similar policies and that they all collect data.
  • The court noted that WhatsApp is a private app and people are free to not use it.

Delhi High Court on Monday refused to issue notice to WhatsApp and Facebook over its new policy, which has been challenged in the court. However, the court will carry out a detailed hearing on the matter on January 25. During the arguments, the court said that WhatsApp was a private app and that people were free to not use it.

In the beginning of the hearing itself Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva told the petitioner, which has challenged the new WhatsApp policy that users have to accept and which will let WhatsApp and Facebook collect some usage data, that if the policy affects privacy of a user, they were free to not use the app because it is a private app.

Court also observed that similar privacy policies are used by other apps like maps and browsers, hinting that it was not logical for the petitioner to single out one app.

The court also noted that if users read the terms and conditions of other apps then they would find policies similar to that of WhatsApp.

WhatsApp recently rolled out a new usage policy for its users, asking them to accept or else their accounts will be disabled. The new policy allows WhatsApp to share more usage data with Facebook, which is the parent company of the chat app. After users revolted and flocked to apps like Signal and Telegram, whatsApp has pushed the date of implementation of the new policy by three months.

Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for WhatsApp, told the court that it was safe to use. He said that the new usage data that WhatsApp would share with Facebook was related to WhatsApp Business accounts, and that the new policy would not impact the personal chats. Kapil Sibal, who also appeared for WhatsApp, argued that the petition against the new policy was without merits.

The court, however, after listening to ASG Chetan Sharma, agreed to hear the matter in more detail and posted it for January 25.

With inputs from Poonam Sharma

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