The court also asked the central government and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to investigate the feasibility of regulating such services, the Deccan Chronicle reported. Senior advocate Pratibha Singh, who appeared before the court on behalf of the petitioners, called the order a “path-breaking judgment to protect the right to privacy”. “The court has passed this order because of the importance given by WhatsApp to privacy in its own earlier policy,” she said.
The PIL had sought a court order against the policy, which the petitioners said compromised the privacy rights of users by modifying the messaging platform’s terms of service in a “deceptive” manner. The litigation had also asked for a directive to be issued to the Centre and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India for the framing of rules to regulate such services.
WhatsApp had announced it will start sharing its users’ phone numbers with Facebook, along with the features of the device they are using. It will soon “coordinate” accounts with Facebook to better identify its users on the social networking site, which will allow the platform to recommend friends and show targeted ads.