Updated: June 4, 2021 3:28:03 am
In response, a WhatsApp spokesperson said they have already responded to the government and assured them that privacy of users remains its highest priority.
Seeking directions from the court to stop WhatsApp from sending such notifications to users, the Centre also argued that WhatsApp’s actions are against “the very grain of prima facie opinion of the Competition Commission of India’s order”, dated March 24.
In a statement, the WhatsApp spokesperson said, “As a reminder, the recent update does not change the privacy of people’s personal messages. Its purpose is to provide additional information about how people can interact with businesses if they choose to do.”
The company also stated that WhatsApp will not limit its functionality and instead continue to remind users from time to time about the update. “We hope this approach reinforces the choice that all users have whether or not they want to interact with a business. We will maintain this approach until at least the forthcoming PDP law comes into effect,” the statement reads.
The replies have been filed by the Centre in response to a PIL seeking framing of guidelines to protect privacy and data of users being collected by various social media sites and messaging apps. The petition, filed by Noida resident Dr Seema Singh, along with Delhi residents Meghan and Vikram Singh, argues that fissures in law with regard to data are “quite conspicuous”, and a framework to regulate that is required.
WhatsApp, in a written reply before the court, has stated that many interest-based applications and websites collect information similar to or in many instances much broader than those mentioned in its 2021 policy. It has also said that if its policy is stopped, it would not only undermine the users’ freedom to contract with a private party but also “disrupt the industry” which provides a wide variety of important services.
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