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India's Top Court Issues Notice to Facebook, WhatsApp Over New Privacy Policy

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WhatsApp application - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.02.2021
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In January, Facebook-owned WhatsApp rolled out a privacy policy notification to its users worldwide. The update said that while the app's private chat will remains end-to-end encrypted, its Business app may share some user data with Facebook to personalise buyer seller experience.

On Monday India's Supreme Court warned WhatsApp and Facebook that the public is becoming increasingly concerned about their privacy following a change in policy

"People have grave apprehensions about the loss of privacy. You may be a $2-3 trillion company but people value their privacy more than your money, we have to protect people's privacy," the court said. 

Petitioner Karmanya Singh Sareen, who was represented in court by senior advocate Shyam Divan, argued that WhatsApp has "come up with a new differentiating privacy policy for Europeans and a different set of rules applicable to Indians."

He said that until new data protection laws comes into force in India, WhatsApp should hold off implementing its new privacy policy.

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Arvind Datar, representing WhatsApp, said, "Europe has a different set of laws, and WhatsApp new privacy policy for India is similar to the policy applicable in the US, Australia and other countries."

The case will be heard by the court in four weeks, which has also sought the government's response to the matter. 

Meanwhile, WhatsApp has delayed its latest policy update by three months.

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