Editorial: Peace over privacy

WhatsApp accepted that the government is the administrator in its case and informed the Delhi High Court that it will put its privacy policy update on hold until the Data Protection Bill came into force.

This is a significant development after the new Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw made it crystal clear within minutes of taking charge that law of the land is supreme and no one can afford to disrespect it.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, representing WhatsApp, submitted before a bench comprising Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh, We will not enforce it until the Data Protection Bill will come out.

In our case the government is the administrator of the rules…we said okay, we will wait till the Bill. Salvo also informed that the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) has communicated to WhatsApp that it feels that its privacy policy is against the Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information), Rules 2011.

Salve added that his client replied to the ministry’s notice that WhatsApp will not limit functionality for some time and continue to show users the updated version. “We will maintain this approach until the Data Protection Bill comes into force. We have voluntarily agreed to put the update on hold till then,” submitted Salve.

In May, the court had issued notice in the appeals filed by WhatsApp and Facebook challenging a single judge order refusing to set aside the CCI probe into the messaging platform’s privacy policy.


NT Bureau