Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp on Wednesday told Mashable that it will share user information with its parent company, despite a Delhi High Court order asking it to remove the data of those users who deleted their accounts before September 25. Spokesperson Anne Yeh told the website that the court’s ruling will have “no impact on the planned policy and terms of service updates”.
However, a day after the Mashable report, WhatsApp stated that it would comply with the order. Its new statement added, “The Court’s emphasis on the importance of user choice and consent is encouraging.”
The court’s September 23 order came after it heard a Public Interest Litigation filed against the new policy. A bench of the court also asked the central government and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to investigate the feasibility of regulating messaging services.
A German privacy regulator on Tuesday ordered Facebook to stop collecting and storing data of WhatsApp users in the country. The watchdog said the two firms had infringed data policies as they had not been granted effective approval by the 35 million WhatsApp users in Germany.
In August, the company had announced that it will start sharing its users’ phone numbers with Facebook, along with the features of the device they are using. It will also “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.
The petition filed with the high court said the move 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.