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Plea Moved In Delhi High Court Against New Privacy Policy of WhatsApp

A petition is moved before the Delhi High Court against WhatsApp claiming the violation of the Right to privacy which is an intrinsic fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution of India.

By: Malavika S Menon, BBA LLB, Nehru Academy of Law.

The petition was lodged by Advocate Manohar Lal in favor of Advocate Chaitanya Rohilla seeking immediate relief, and alleging that the new policy is clearly ultra vires and utterly violates fundamental rights provided in Part III of the Indian Constitution and cannot be accepted in a democracy.

The plea claimed that WhatsApp has capriciously changed its privacy policy, forcing users to agree to accept the terms and conditions, demanding the cancellation of services from February 8th, 2021 if not accepted.

It was also argued that the new policy “virtually gives a 360-degree profile into a person’s online activity” without any “government oversight.”

There are concerns from the users that the personal data will be shared through other Facebook-related apps or other third-party apps because of this updated privacy policy.

WhatsApp has made a mockery out of our fundamental right to privacy while discharging a public function in India, besides jeopardizing the National Security of the country by sharing, transmitting and storing the users’ data in some another country and that data, in turn, will be governed by the laws of that foreign country” stated the plea.

Over the years, WhatsApp has become an essential part of the life of citizens including government and judicial officials.

To avoid the applicability of this kind of hysterics, so Whatsapp; a private body, is subject to the writ jurisdiction of the High Court since it is performing a public function as a communication technology.

The plea asserted for the guidelines from the central government in this matter and to exercise the powers under Information Technology Act (IT Act) to ensure that no data can be shared by WhatsApp through Facebook-related or other third-party apps.

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