WhatsApp user privacy issue challenged in India court

Facebook snatches WhatsApp in $16 billion deal today
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Centre on a petition that said privacy of WhatsApp users has been threatened by a new policy announced by Facebook which owns the mobile messaging service.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal sought the government’s response by September 14 on the plea which said the new policy announced by WhatsApp, Facebook Inc and Facebook India Online Pvt Ltd severely compromises the rights of the users.

Under the new policy, WhatsApp will share users’ personal information, including their phone numbers, with its parent company Facebook.

The phone number associated with a user’s WhatsApp account will be used on Facebook to show them ads, the petition said.

The privacy policy is in stark contrast to the privacy policy existing from July 7, 2012, it said.

“In its first revised modification on August 25, 2016, respondents (WhatsApp, Facebook Inc. and Facebook India Online Pvt Ltd) have introduced this policy which severely compromises the rights of its users and makes the privacy rights of users completely vulnerable.”

Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi argued that the new policy threatens to take away the privacy of users’ data which will be shared with Facebook and all its group companies, including for the purpose of commercial advertising and marketing. IANS