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Differential treatment to Indian users regarding WhatsApp privacy policy: Centre tells Delhi HC

ANI | Updated: Jan 25, 2021 13:39 IST

New Delhi [India], January 25 (ANI): The Central government on Monday told the Delhi High Court that differential treatment given to Indian users relating to WhatsApp privacy policy is a "matter of concern" as the messaging application policy differs for users in the European Union.
Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma told the court that the Data Protection Bill is being discussed and WhatsApp's response has been sought by the Central government.
Sharma also informed the court that the Centre is concerned about the way in which Indian users are not being given the option to choose.
He told the court that privacy policy offered to European users is not given to Indian users. "This differential treatment is a cause of concern for the government," the ASG said.
The Delhi High Court on Monday said that it is not mandatory to download WhatsApp, amid concerns over the company's new privacy policy.
A single bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva was hearing a petition seeking direction for an injunction against WhatsApp's updated privacy policy. The plea was filed by Chaitanya Rohilla through advocate Manohar Lal.
"It is not mandatory to download WhatsApp on your mobile and it is voluntary. If you want to choose not to download WhatsApp, you can," the High Court said.

The Delhi High Court observed that WhatsApp is responding to the question raised by the Central Government, which is considering the matter, and thereafter adjourned the matter for March 1 for further hearing.
It also said that not only WhatsApp but every other application has similar terms and conditions and asked the petitioner how does this application prejudice him.
The petitioner lawyer Manohar Lal told the court that the Government has brought a data protection bill but the bill never saw the light of the day.
Earlier, the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) had written to Will Cathcart, Global CEO of WhatsApp to withdraw the proposed changes to the Privacy Policy of the Facebook-owned messaging application for Indian users.
The CEO has been asked to furnish responses to the government's query regarding the privacy, data transfer, and sharing policies, sources had said.
WhatsApp recently announced that it has postponed its planned privacy update, which will give users more time to review the policy and accept the terms of the Facebook-owned messaging app.
The decision to postpone the privacy update has been taken due to "misinformation causing concern" among people, the company said. (ANI)