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You may be $2-3 trillion company but…! SC issues notice to WhatsApp over privacy policy

In its notice, the SC said that "citizens have great apprehension about loss of their privacy and they think that their data and chats being shared with others and it has to be looked into."

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre and WhatsApp to reply to a fresh plea alleging lower standards of privacy for Indians in comparison to European users saying it is the duty of the judiciary to protect citizens’ privacy, the PTI reported.

“You may be $2-3 trillion company but people’s privacy is more valuable for them and it is our duty to protect their privacy,” the top court told WhatsApp.

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In its notice, the SC said that “citizens have great apprehension about loss of their privacy and they think that their data and chats being shared with others and it has to be looked into.”
The government told SC that the companies can’t share data of users and data must be protected.
“Petitioner challenging privacy policy alleges that there is huge metadata of users which is being shared for profit,” it added.

WhatsApp and Facebook have refuted the Centre’s allegation of users’ data sharing. It told the court that same privacy policy is applicable to all countries except European nations which have special data protection law.

The top court had in 2017 referred social media platform WhatsApp’s privacy policy matter to a constitution bench saying it concerns the larger issue of privacy and right to personal liberty.

The appeal filed in SC by Karmanya Singh Sareen and Shreya Sethi assailed the Delhi high court verdict on the ground that no relief was granted for data shared by users post-September 25, 2016, and it amounted to an infringement of fundamental rights under Article 19 (Freedom of Speech and Expression) and 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution.

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