Bombay HC Issues Notice To Government In A PIL Over ‘Truecaller’ App. Truecaller Denies Data-Breach Allegations

Bombay HC Issues Notice To Government In A PIL Over ‘Truecaller’ App. Truecaller Denies Data-Breach Allegations

Earlier this week on 7th July 2021, Wednesday, the Hon’ble Bombay High Court issued a notice to the Central and State Governments regarding public interest litigation (hereinafter referred to as “PIL”) alleging that the mobile application Truecaller was ‘sharing’ user data in violation of existing privacy laws.

The instant case was adjourned till 29th July 2021 by the Hon’ble divisional bench comprising of Hon’ble Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Hon’ble Justice GS Kulkarni, who issued notice to all respondents.

PIL was filed by Shashank Posture in which the Union and the State Government, the Maharashtra State IT department, National Payment Corporation of India (hereinafter referred to as “NPCI”), Truecaller International LLP, and ICICI Bank are named as respondents.

“The Truecaller International LLP utilized on mobile phones, resulting in a breach of data privacy of cell phone users, as spelled out in the writ petition,” he claimed. He contends that respondent No 5 i.e., Truecaller International LLP operation is illegal and in violation of the law’s position on cell phone users’ privacy.”

The petitioner, who appeared in person for the PIL, stated that the app collects data from all users and shares that data with some of its partners without their knowledge, putting the onus on the consumers to bear the consequences. 

“Having heard the petitioner in person for some time, we are of the conclusion that notice on this petition is required to be sent to the respondents,” the Hon’ble High Court wrote in its ruling. Further directed the respondent parties to reply to the notice within three weeks.

The Hon’ble High Court also allowed Posture to serve the respondents via private notice and record an affidavit of service in addition to the Hon’ble court notice.

A Truecaller spokesperson said in an official statement on Thursday, “We have not received any formal communication regarding the PIL so far. We will be able to comment further once we have more information”.

“It is crucial to note, Truecaller halted delivering Unified Payments Interface (hereinafter referred to as “UPI”) payment services last year and has not signed up any new customers on UPI since August 2019, it’s a service completely built on users trust,” he added. “We abide by data privacy regulations and are prepared to abide by other data protection legislation everywhere on the planet. Furthermore, Truecaller practices ‘data minimization,’ which means it only collects the information necessary for our service to function.”

“Data of Truecaller users are completely safe, secured, and fully stored in India without any overseas backups and protected to the highest levels,” further added.

Harsh Tiwari
Myself Harsh Nath Tiwari, pursuing BALLB. from Institute of Law, Nirma University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Taking law as a subject is an opportunity in itself for serving the society and to bring some change from the very initial level. However, I am more inclined towards Criminal and Civil laws. Also, I like learning, researching, writing and yet to explore more.