WhatsApp voluntarily holds Updated Privacy Policy till Data Protection Bill takes effect

WhatsApp Symbol Delhi High Court and Law Insider IN

Greeva Garg –

Instant messaging platform WhatsApp has informed the Delhi High Court that the Updated Privacy Policy has been voluntarily put on hold till the Data Protection Bill, 2019, comes into force.

Senior Advocate Harish Salve made the submissions before the Delhi High Court during the hearing, in the case of WhatsApp v. Competition Commission of India, where WhatsApp challenged the Competition Commission of India (CCI) enquiry.

Before the bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh, Salve stated, “We have voluntarily agreed to put the update on hold till then. We will maintain this approach until Data Protection Bill comes into force.”

Salve notified the Court about the notice by the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) to WhatsApp, stating that the WhatsApp Privacy Policy is against the Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information), Rules, 2011.

Arguing against the CCI probe, Slave said that, “CCI is inquiring into a policy that I have taken off. If Parliament allows me to share data, CCI cannot say anything.”

Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi, appearing for CCI said, “They are not enforcing compliance. But the policy is in place; it is not the statement of WhatsApp that they are giving it up. As long as policy stands, competition law issues persist.”

Looking at the earlier Court proceedings, on May 6 the Court issued a notice in appeals filed by WhatsApp and Facebook against the order refusing CCI probe.

On June 4 the Court refused to put a stay in the notice by the CCI on the WhatsApp Privacy Policy seeking more information on issue.

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