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WhatsApp Tells Delhi HC it ‘Voluntarily’ Put New Privacy Policy on Hold

WhatsApp has emphasised that being an end-to-end encrypted platform, it has no visibility into the content of any messages. (Representational Image/ PTI)

New Delhi: WhatsApp told the Delhi High Court on Friday (July 9) that it had voluntarily put on hold contentious updates to its privacy police.

WhatsApp also told Delhi HC that till the data protection bill comes into force, it would not compel users to opt for its new privacy policy.

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Appearing for the instant messaging platform, Senior Advocate Harish Salve said, “We voluntarily agreed to put it (the policy) on hold… we will not compel people to accept.”

Salve said that WhatsApp would nonetheless continue to display the update to its users.

WhatsApp clarified before a bench of Chief justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh that it would not limit the functionality for users who are not opting for new privacy policy in the meantime.

The court was hearing a plea by the instant messaging platform and its owners, Facebook, challenging a CCI, or Competition Commission of India, inquiry into the policy.

Earlier the Centre on Thursday (June 3) in the Delhi High Court said that WhatsApp was using its prowess to force users to accept its new terms of policy. It said that WhatsApp would try to get users to accept the new policy before the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill becomes a law.

The Centre also said that the act of forcing users to accept the policy is is against the Competition Commission of India’s order which was passed on March 24, 2021.

ALSO READ: Delhi HC Refuses to Stay CCI Notice to WhatsApp, Facebook in ‘Privacy Policy Matter’

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Furthermore, it also asked the High Court to direct WhatsApp to stop sending push notifications to users over accepting its new police.

The government also asked the court to place on the record, the number of times such notifications are being pushed daily and their conversion rate.

In addition, the India government also asked the company to roil back the policy as it violated the Information Technology (Reasonable security practices and procedures and sensitive personal data or information) Rules, 2011.

(With inputs from PTI)

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