India

Delhi HC Dismisses Facebook’s Counter Plea Challenging CCI’s Probe into WhatsApp’s Privacy Policy

Earlier this month, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) told the Delhi High Court that WhatsApp’s controversial privacy policy would result in excessive data collection and “stalking” of users over advertising purposes. WhatsApp and its parent company Facebook challenged the CCI’s findings in court.

In a fresh development, the Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed pleas by WhatsApp and Facebook challenging the probe by India’s competition watchdog, the CCI.

As part of their counter plea, WhatsApp and Facebook questioned the necessity of the CCI’s involvement in the case when the Supreme Court of India was already looking into it. The CCI, however, maintains that the issue is not only related to concerns over data sharing and collection – but also about the possibilities of WhatsApp exploiting its position in India for targeted advertising.

WhatsApp rolled out a notification informing its global users about its privacy policy back in January this year. In its update, the instant messaging app admitted that it does and will continue to share user data like device location and contact details for chats shared on its “Business” app with Facebook to make the buying-selling experience more personalised for users. WhatsApp’s buyer-seller-focused  “Business” app launched in 2018.

Time and again, the platform reiterated that chats exchanged on its normal app remain end-to-end encrypted and that no data is stored or shared with Facebook.

The public reaction to the privacy policy update has not been positive.

The Indian authorities have also asked WhatsApp about the mandatory nature of this update – that either requires users to accept it or leaves them with no other option but to delete their accounts.

For some time now, WhatsApp has been sending reminders to its global users to accept its policy by 15 May. Indian WhatsApp users have, however, expressed on social media that they will not be “arm twisted” into accepting anything they are not entirely comfortable with.

 

 

 

 

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