Supreme Court issues notices to Facebook, WhatsApp in privacy policy matter


New Delhi: The Supreme Court has issued notices to Facebook Inc. and WhatsApp in a matter concerning the new privacy policy of the world’s largest messaging service.

“You may be $2-3 trillion companies but people value their privacy and that it is the court’s duty to protect their privacy,” the apex court told the social network and its messaging service.

The goverment, which has sought clarifications from WhatsApp and has asked for changes to be withdrawn, told the court that the companies can’t share data of users which must be protected.

WhatsApp and Facebook refuted allegations of data sharing.

“We have been asked to file a reply. We have communicated to the court that the same policy would be applicable everywhere, except the European Union which is governed by a special law. In US, Australia, Brazil…it’s the same policy,” said senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, who appeared for WhatsApp.

The matter was concerning an application filed by two college students, Karmanya Singh Sareen and Shreya Sethi in their pending case before the Constitution bench where WhatsApp’s 2016 user policy was challenged.

The application is seeking urgent directions from the court to stay the operation of the new privacy policy.

According to the application, there is no clarity on when the data protection legislation will be passed and brought into effect in India, and it is imperative that the honourable court prohibits the operation of the new privacy policy in order to protect the rights of crores of Indian citizens.

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