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WhatsApp tells Delhi High Court privacy policy update on hold till Data Protection Bill comes out

While the government wants WhatsApp to shut down the policy, the latter has said it will not enforce it till the Data Protection Bill comes out. 

WhatsApp tells Delhi High Court privacy policy update on hold till Data Protection Bill comes out-VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Jul 9, 2021, 12:47 PM IST
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WhatsApp has informed the Delhi High court that it will not implement its controversial privacy policy update in India until the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, comes into force.

Submitting WhatsApp before the Delhi High Court bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh, Senior Advocate Harish Salve said the company had in its response to the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology notice said that it would not limit functionality for some time and continue to show users the updated version until the Data Protection Bill comes into force.

Salve said that while the government wants WhatsApp to shut down the policy, the latter has said it will not enforce it till the Data Protection Bill comes out. 

"The commitment is that I will not do anything till Parliamentary law comes. If Parliament allows me to have a separate policy for India, I will have it. If it does not, I will take a call," Salve said.

WhatsApp had moved the High Court against the Competition Commission of India order calling for a Director General-level probe into the full extent, scope and impact of data sharing through involuntary consent of users.

WhatsApp has repeatedly stated that the new update does not impact the privacy of personal messages for anyone. However, the majority of users who have received the new terms of service have accepted them, while some have not done it yet.

The Centre has in the past questioned Whatsapp CEO Will Cathcart on the updated privacy policy. The Meity had underlined concerns over the company's accept-the-terms-or-leave-the-platform stance for Indian users that did not apply to its European consumers.

The government had termed it as problematic and irresponsible for WhatsApp to leverage its position to impose unfair terms and conditions on Indian users, particularly those that discriminate against Indian users vis-à-vis users in Europe.

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