WhatsApp is a chat service used widely across the world. In 2014, Facebook acquired this chat service. After this acquiring by Facebook, the company issued a revised security policy in 2016. Since its merger, it has been passing through many trials and tribulations across the world. Last week we heard that Italian government imposed a fine of $3.3 million on WhatsApp. This was due to sharing of the user’s data with its parent social media site Facebook.
We have also gone through many reports about this issue continuing in the Indian court. Two persons Karmanya Singh Sareen and Shreya Sethi have filed a suit in a lower court that WhatsApp is violating the data protection laws. They were of the view that it is sharing the personal data of users with its parent company Facebook. The lower court has now referred the case to the Supreme Court. A constitutional Panel of five judges will hear the case. There is also another very hot case under hearing nowadays. This Triple Talaq case is under hearing in the Supreme Court.
Senior Advocate Harish Salve is representing the petitioners. There are two separate advocates defending the case. One is representing WhatsApp, and the other is representing Facebook. The petitioners have alleged WhatsApp of violating the privacy of more than 15.7 crore peoples of the country. This is because the company is sharing the personal data of users with Facebook.
This hearing is important in the context that the chat app has already been fined by the Italian government. 28 countries of European Union have also warned the messaging app to stop the sharing of the personal data. The petitioner’s advocate said, ”WhatsApp User Policy allows it to store personal data like chats, videos, and pictures. This means that it is sharing the data with its parent company Facebook.”
The defender lawyer said, “The messages in our service are secured with the end to end encryption. It is not easy for a third party social media site to approach this data.” The petitioner’s advocate also referred to many clauses of the Indian constitution and demanded answers to those.
The decision of the court will decide for the future of this chat app within the country. But, one thing is decided. WhatsApp is going to lose many customers due to this issue.