Whatsapp,invades privacy through its new privacy policy.

 

Social Media Application Whatsapp

Whatsapp, recently brought changes in its privacy policy, and the new privacy policy poses a danger to an individual’s fundamental right of privacy. Whatsapp shares all its information with its adjoining social networking site Facebook, which increases the threat to one’ privacy.

A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Dipak Misra is beginning the hearing of the petitions filed by Karmanya Singh Sareen and Shreya Sethi challenging the constitutional validity of the WhatsApp policy revealing private information of its users.

While hearing to the petitions on the validity of Whatsapp’s privacy policy the bench pointed out that whether it should be permissible that an online social networking application, WhatsApp, which shares all its information with Facebook, could reveal or share all data of its subscribers the identity of its subscribers, allegedly for commercial exploitation.

 

Supreme Court of India

The Supreme Court opined that the “trust” has been taken away with the change in the privacy policy of social networking application Whatsapp.

The court while hearing to the petition filed by 19-year-old Karmanya Singh Sareen and 22-year-old Shreya Sethi, challenging the constitutional validity of WhatsApp’s privacy policy rejected the plea of WhatsApp which was its refusal to accepting the claim put forward by the two girls, that it was not forcing its users to use its services and they were free to leave the platform. It said the issue had to be adjudicated in the light of constitutional provision as users had alleged violation of their fundamental rights due to the change in the privacy policy.

The five-judge Constitution Bench Senior advocate K K Venugopal, Kapil Sibal and Sidharth Luthra appeared for WhatsApp and Facebook and said, “All messages, photographs and documents exchanged by millions of users of WhatsApp were encrypted end-to-end preventing even WhatsApp from reading them. The information is never accessible to anyone.”

On this the Bench said, “What is bothering us in your new privacy policy is that you are sharing information for commercial exploitation. Why do you change the policy?” Under the new policy, WhatsApp can share all of its subscribers’ data with social networking platform Facebook.

Advocate Siddharth Luthra

Advocate Sidharth Luthra then explained to the Bench that, “What is shared is the phone number of the user, the identification number of the device used, the user’s registration detail and last access of the service by the user.”

Advocate Madhavi Divan, appearing for the petitioners, on this said that the lack of privacy of messages over WhatsApp not only violated the right to privacy but also the right to free speech and many countries had already restrained WhatsApp from sharing information of its users.

The Delhi High Court had ruled last year that WhatsApp should delete all data in its possession until September 25, 2016, but said the company was free to share the data with Facebook post September 25, 2016, enabling subscribers to voluntarily withdraw from the service if they were not keen on sharing their data with Facebook.

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