Writ Petition filed in Supreme Court Against New Privacy Policy of WhatsApp

Writ Petition in Supreme Court Against New Privacy Policy of WhatsApp

A writ petition has been filed against the updated privacy policy of WhatsApp (messaging service owned by Facebook) by Confederation of All India Traders through Advocate Vivek Narayan Sharma in Supreme Court.

WhatsApp introduced a new privacy policy where it removed the opt-out option. The users would have to accept the policy to continue on the platform and consent to sharing their data with Facebook and its group companies. The “take it or leave it” option coerces the users to share their data with third-party companies.

The petition seeks the issuance of directions to the Union Government to take steps and actions necessary for safeguarding the privacy of citizens and ensuring that mobile application providers and internet messaging services do not exploit the data or other information in any manner.

The petition also seeks a direction in the nature of prohibition to prohibit the government from allowing WhatsApp and Facebook in any manner to share the data of its users or subscribers with Facebook or any other of its family company.

The petitioner submitted that this policy of WhatsApp is an infringement of the fundamental right of privacy of the citizens enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The petitioner also stated that the new policy is against the public law of India and is unsustainable on legality grounds. As per the petition, the new policy is also violative of the statutory scheme in the Information Technology Act, 2000.

The petitioner prays that WhatsApp be directed to retract their new policy of January 2021 with immediate effect and allow Indian Authorities to do Technical Audits of WhatsApp data centres that store the data of Indian users.