WhatsApp faces first legal challenge in India regarding privacy

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In this news, we discuss the WhatsApp faces first legal challenge in India regarding privacy

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) – WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy borders on user surveillance and threatens India’s security, a petition filed in an Indian court said on Thursday, presenting another legal challenge for the Facebook Messenger belonging to Inc.

California-based WhatsApp said on Jan.4 that it reserves the right to share certain data, including location and phone number with Facebook and its units such as Instagram and Messenger.

It sparked outrage, including in its largest market, India, where it has 400 million users.

The change has also encountered a challenge in Turkey, with the country’s Competition Council launching an investigation into the courier and its parent company this week.

In India, many users have started installing competing apps like Signal and Telegram, prompting WhatsApp to launch an expensive advertising campaign to calm customers down.

“It practically gives a 360-degree profile of a person’s online activity,” lawyer Chaitanya Rohilla said of Whatsapp’s new policy in the petition to the Delhi High Court.

‘BROWBEATING’

A copy of the petition, seen by Reuters, said Whatsapp endangers national security by sharing, transmitting and storing user data in another country along with the information so governed by foreign laws.

“WhatsApp has derided our fundamental right to privacy,” he said.

WhatsApp has given users a February 8 deadline to agree to the new terms.

“This type of arbitrary behavior and browbeating cannot be accepted in a democracy and is completely ‘ultra vires’ (beyond its powers) and against fundamental rights as enshrined in the Constitution of India,” added the petition.

He will be heard by the Delhi High Court on Friday.

WhatsApp did not respond to a request for comment. He previously said the policy update did not affect the privacy of messages with friends and family, as group chats are encrypted and the changes only affect interactions with businesses.

Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Edited by Andrew Cawthorne

Original © Thomson Reuters

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