WhatsApp claims in Delhi High Court : Not sharing user data with Facebook

The popular instant messaging platform WhatsApp is facing allegations over its new privacy policy all over the world, but in India it is facing a case in the Delhi High Court. A petition was filed by two users who alleged that the company’s new privacy policy compromises the rights of its users by sharing private messages, contents, photos or data with Facebook.

Appealing in the Delhi High Court, WhatsApp claimed that it only shares a user’s name, phone number and the contact list with Facebook and does not have access to any other data as it provides end-to-end encryption. However, the Privacy Policy of WhatsApp contradicts the above statement portraying a different scenario.

WhatsApp made changes in its privacy policy on August 25 giving users the option of sharing their account information with the social network giant and its parent company Facebook. However, it also gave its users 30 days till September 25 to opt out of the policy.

We only have access to the person’s name and number which is also obtained by online consent. We are abiding by the central government’s regulations for messenger apps. We are not dealing with sensitive information at all. If any of the user wants to opt out of the new policy, he/she cannot be forced to not choose that option.

         –Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for WhatsApp

The Delhi High Court has asked WhatsApp to file a short affidavit before 20 September explaining the factual position. If WhatsApp appears to breach the privacy norms of users then WhatsApp will have to redraft its Privacy Policy, and specify that only usernames, contact numbers and contact lists will be collected, and that this information will not be shared with anyone other than Facebook.

Featured Image Credit : The Wall Street Journal

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