New Privacy Policy will not be forced, Whatsapp tells top court

    The controversial new privacy policy of WhatsApp will not be forced upon consumers, Whatsapp officials on Friday told the Delhi High Court it would not force users to accept its controversial new privacy policy, or limit functionality for those who have opted not to accept those terms, until the government passes the Data Protection Bill, which specifies how such data can be processed.

    WhatsApp will, however, continue to display the update to users who have not accepted it, and it will remain in force for those who have, the company said.

    “We voluntarily agreed to put it (the new policy) on hold… we will not compel people to accept,” senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for WhatsApp, told the court.

    The court was hearing a plea by the instant messaging platform and its owner, Facebook, challenging a CCI, or Competition Commission of India, inquiry into the policy.

    Over 100 billion personal messages a day are end-to-end encrypted by default on WhatsApp

    Whatsapp New Privacy Policy will not be forced – Whatsapp tells Indian High Court on Friday July 9, 2021

    The CCI had issued notices to both last month, asking for more information about the policy.

    In the previous hearing on June 23, the High Court refused to stay the CCI notice to WhatsApp.

    The company had argued that the notices “smacked of overreach” since the information it was seeking was already pending before a different bench of the same court. It also reminded the court that related challenges were still pending before both the Supreme Court and itself.

    Today Mr Salve told the court: “CCI is inquiring into a policy I (WhatsApp) have put on hold. If Parliament allows me to share data (under the Data Protection Bill) then CCI cannot say or probe anything. We have already put our updated privacy policy on hold till the bill is passed.”

    The matter was adjourned after Mr Salve sought time to respond to the CCI notices.


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