Do not join WhatsApp if the privacy policy is not acceptable: Delhi High Court

The Delhi Supreme Court said Monday that accepting the new privacy policy of the instant messaging app WhatsApp is a “voluntary” matter and one can choose not to join the platform if one does not agree to the terms of use. The court also said that when most mobile apps’ terms and conditions are read, “you’d be surprised what you agree to”.

“Even Google Maps collects and stores all of your data,” the court said.

“It’s a private app. Don’t join it. It’s a voluntary thing, don’t accept it. Use another app,” Judge Sanjeev Sachdeva told the petitioner, an attorney who is questioning WhatsApp’s new privacy policy has asked. which was supposed to come into effect in February but has now been postponed to May.

The court further said it could not understand what data the petitioner said had leaked and, since the issue needs to be investigated, it will be listed on January 25 due to lack of time on Monday.

The central government also agreed with the court that the problem needs to be analyzed.
WhatsApp and Facebook, represented by senior lawyers Kapil Sibal and Mukul Rohatgi, told the court that the cause of action could not be upheld and that many of the questions raised were unfounded. They also told the court that private chat messages between family and friends remain encrypted and cannot be stored by WhatsApp and that this position would not change under the new policy.

The policy change would only affect business chats on WhatsApp, they said.

The petition alleged that the updated privacy policy violated users’ right to privacy under the constitution. The plea alleged that WhatsApp’s new privacy policy allows unrestricted access to a user’s online activities without government supervision.


Does WhatsApp’s new privacy policy mean the end of your privacy? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, Download the episodeor just hit the play button below.

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