The Challenge to WhatsApp’s Privacy Policy

Aryan Grover

The controversial privacy policy that is trying to be implemented by Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp has been under the scrutiny of the courts for a while now, and the federal government of India has finally urged a Delhi court to restrain the same.

The new privacy policy, which is scheduled to come into effect, has been a cause of concern for the government and the citizens, since it involves differential treatment of the Indian users as opposed to the application’s European users.

In specific, this differential treatment is with respect to the prohibition of information being shared with Facebook, a provision absent from the privacy policy offered to Indian citizens.

The filing in this matter suggests that the new privacy policy violates India’s information technology laws since it fails to specify the nature of user data being collected, and neither are the users notified about it.

The confidentiality of said data by third parties in possession of it is also not guaranteed.

The tussle between WhatsApp and the Indian government continues to grow. While WhatsApp attempts to try and maintain the stronghold over its most important market, it faces further challenges in the form of the countrywide rollout of its payment service, where it needs to contend with guidelines requiring it to break its policy of encryption for the purpose of identification of unlawful messages on the platform.

The matter is listed for further hearing.

Read more: WhatsApp’s Updated Policy: Delhi HC adjourns hearing, grants time to Centre to respond