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Whatsapp Privacy policy: Delhi HC expresses concern about data sharing

New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Wednesday raised concerns about data sharing by social media platforms as it heard the appeal of WhatsApp and its parent company Meta (formerly Facebook) against the probe ordered by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) into the instant messaging app’s latest privacy policy.

A division bench of Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Poonam A. Bamba was hearing the appeal filed by FB and Whatsapp challenging the single-judge order which refused to stay the CCI’s order in April last year.

Expressing concern about the privacy matter, the bench said users are mostly unaware of the data sharing by private entities like Cambridge Analytica.

As on January 3, the High Court had extended the time for filing replies to the two notices issued by the CCI to the social media giants, the bench said that the time extension order will remain in force while directing the parties to file their written submissions prior to the next hearing and posted the matter for July 21.

During the course of the hearing, senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing on behalf of Facebook and WhatsApp, submitted that the new privacy policy gives the users freedom to not share their data and there is no element of coercion involved.

In June 2021, the Delhi High Court had refused to stay a notice issued by the CCI, asking WhatsApp to furnish certain information in connection with the probe, ordered in March, on the instant messaging app’s new updated privacy policy.

On October 23, 2021, the Centre had told the Delhi High Court that WhatsApp has already violated the fundamental rights of users in the country by denying dispute resolution rights while opposing a plea filed by WhatsApp and Facebook against the new IT rules.



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