“Explain the Facts, WhatsApp!”: Delhi High Court

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The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought response from WhatsApp on a petition against the popular messaging app’s decision to share users’ data with its parent company Facebook. A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal asked WhatsApp to file its response on the plea filed by Delhi-based users who raised concern over security of their data shared using the app.

The bench asked WhatsApp to explain the facts about the issue before September 21, the next date of hearing.

The plea said privacy of the users was threatened by the new policy announced byFacebook which now owns the mobile messaging service. The plea also said that the new data sharing policy announced by WhatsApp, Facebook and Facebook India Online Pvt Ltd severely compromises the rights of its users.

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On August 25, WhatsApp made extensive changes to its privacy policy. Under the new norm, it announced it would and could share users’ personal information, including their phone numbers, with its parent company Facebook. WhatsApp had given its users a 30-day period to opt out of the new privacy policy which expires on September 25. The phone numbers associated with the user’s WhatsApp account would be used on Facebook to show them advertisements, the petition said.

During the brief hearing on Wednesday, senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for WhatsApp, said that the app does not share users private messages, contents, photos or data with Facebook.