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WhatsApp Temporarily Puts its Privacy Policy on Hold, Delhi High Court Told

WhatsApp representational image.

WhatsApp representational image.

The Centre said that according to it WhatsApp's privacy policy was in violation of Indian IT laws and rules.

WhatsApp on Friday informed the Delhi High Court that it has decided to “temporarily put its privacy policy on hold", till the Data Protection Bill comes into force.

“Government has asked to shut down the policy. We have said we will not enforce it till Data Protection Bill comes out. That is open-ended because we don’t know when the Bill is going to come out … We have said we will not do this for a while. Suppose the Bill allows me to do it, we will have completely different ramifications," senior advocate Harish Salve made the submission on behalf of WhatsApp.

A report in Bar and Bench further quoted Salve as saying the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) has communicated to the instant messaging platform that its privacy policy is against the Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information), Rules 2011.

The Centre had earlier told the court that it has written to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the issue and a reply is awaited and therefore, there was a need to maintain status quo with regard to implementation of the policy.

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WhatsApp, opposing the contention, said it was conforming to Indian IT law and rules and added that its policy has come into effect from May 15, but it won’t be deleting accounts right away.

When the matter was initially listed before a single judge, the Centre had said that WhatsApp was treating Indian users differently from Europeans over opting out of its new privacy policy which was a matter of concern for the government and it was looking into the issue.

It had also said it was also a matter of concern that Indian users were being “unilaterally" subjected to the change in privacy policy by the instant messaging platform and that the government was looking into it.

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first published:July 09, 2021, 12:03 IST