From 25 September onwards WhatsApp’s new policy will take effect which according to the PIL violates the fundamental rights of the users by allowing confidential information to be shared with WhatsApp’s affiliate Facebook.
Under this new policy, WhatsApp would collect and share information about its users and share it with its owner Facebook Inc. and all its group companies for the purpose of commercial advertising and marketing.
What is more the user’s phone number and data on contacts would also be shared by WhatsApp.
To be sure, WhatsApp gives users the option of not accepting the terms, but the user has to go on WhatsApp settings and uncheck a box allowing the sharing of information.
According to senior lawyer Prathiba Singh, who was representing the petitioners, the WhatsApp policy is quite confusing for the ordinary user and more clarity is needed.
When the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was earlier informed about this by the Delhi high court, it said that it did not have powers to tackle this issue.
Thus, Delhi High Court ordered WhatsApp to remove info, data of users who decide to delete their account and not share their information with the Facebook post-September 25.
But siding with WhatsApp on other aspects, they been allowed to share the data with Facebook post 25th September.
WhatsApp though has made it clear to the High Court that nothing “posted” by users will be shared with Facebook and other sister applications for “others to see” rather the users can opt out of sharing their information with Facebook for improving Facebook advertisements and products experiences.