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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Facebook-owned WhatsApp refuses to comply with Delhi HC's order: Report

ems Facebook-owned WhatsApp didn't exactly get the Delhi High Court's ruling issued recently on its new privacy policy. The Delhi High Court (HC) told the company to remove all data belonging to those users who delete the messaging app from their devices in a decision late last week.

The judges asked WhatsApp to completely delete information of users who do not want to remain on its platform and not to share any information with Facebook after their accounts are deleted. It also said that the service shouldn't share information of existing WhatsApp users with Facebook until September 25.

The court also said that even for users who choose not to opt out of the service, WhatsApp can only share data collected after September 25 with Facebook. This means that even for users who have accepted the company's new terms and conditions, the data collected over the previous years cannot be shared.

However, WhatsApp told Mashable India that it is sharing information with Facebook as planned. The company said that the Delhi High Court's directive hasn't impacted its planned changes in terms and privacy policy. WhatsApp spokesperson Anne Yeh told Mashable, "The ruling has no impact on the planned policy and terms of service updates."

The Delhi High Court had also asked the government and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to decide whether such messaging platforms should be regulated, adding another dimension to the ongoing debate on this subject. The case stems from changes to WhatsApp's privacy policy that will see it sharing user data with parent Facebook.

Petitioners Karmanya Singh Sareen and Shreya Sethi filed the case after WhatsApp updated its privacy policy on August 25 for the first time after it was acquired by Facebook in 2014.

The Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), which advocates a free and open Internet, had hailed the Delhi High Court's decision. IFF had said in a statement that cases like these "demonstrate the lack of an institutional mechanism to protect user privacy and provide a remedy to citizens. In the absence of substantive clarity and a process to enforce it, people are constrained to file public interest petitions which remain ad-hoc remedies."

The issue of regulating messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Hike, Viber and others has been a part of an ongoing debate in the country since past year.

In 2015, a government panel on net neutrality had recommended regulating such apps. However, this was met with massive protests from internet activists.

Source:-The Times of India

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