The platform said that there was no universal or uniform time limit after which it will start to delete accounts as each user would be dealt with on a case-to-case basis, PTI reported.
Advocate Kapil Sibal made the submission on behalf of WhatsApp during proceedings on a plea alleging that the policy violates the Right to Privacy under the Constitution. A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh sought the response of the Centre, Facebook and WhatsApp on the matter. The case will next be heard on June 3.
In Monday’s hearing, Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, appearing for the Centre, told the court that the there were concerns that the policy was in violation of the Information Technology Act, Bar and Bench reported. He also said that the Centre had written to the chief executive officer of WhatsApp and was awaiting a reply.
Senior Advocate Arvind Datar, also appearing for WhatsApp, submitted that the policy was not against the Act. “We can go rule by rule,” he said.
“The question is, does India have a public policy for privacy? Sibal questioned. “If a public policy of privacy is there in India, does it apply to WhatsApp policy?”
Sharma then referred to media reports stating that implementation of the policy had been deferred, to which Sibal said that was not the case and it had come into effect from May 15.
Meanwhile, lawyers appearing for the petitioners sought a status quo for users who have not accepted the new policy. The lawyers said that such accounts should not be deleted and their data should be preserved till the court decides on the matter.
However, the court refused to grant such an interim relief.