“It is a private app,” a single-judge bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said. “Don’t join it. It is a voluntary thing. Use some other app. What is your grievance? .. I can’t understand your concern. If you feel WhatsApp will compromise data, delete WhatsApp.”
Prior to that, WhatsApp had issued two clarifications to assuage privacy concerns of users. On January 10, the messaging platform said that its latest update describes business communication and does not change its data-sharing practices with Facebook. Again on January 15, it said that the new policy does not affect the privacy of users’ messages with their friends and family.
The court also said that if terms and conditions of most mobile applications were read “you would be surprised as to what all you are consenting to”. “Even Google maps captures all your data and stores it,” the court said, according to PTI.
The High Court asked the petitioner to explain the concerns related to WhatsApp sharing data. To this, lawyer Manohar Lal, representing petitioner and advocate Chaitanya Rohilla, said that WhatsApp shared the information globally. “Everything they gather from us is shared,” the petitioner’s counsel said, according to Live Law.
The court then asked the information and broadcasting ministry for its stand on the matter, to which it said the matter needed analysing.
Meanwhile, WhatsApp challenged the maintainability of the plea, saying that users had the option not to use the business app. The counsel of its parent company Facebook said: “Let the petitioner be reassured that all chats between friends, relatives, etc will be encrypted and safe.”
The court posted the matter for further hearing on January 25.