SC refers WhatsApp privacy policy matter to Constitution bench


Team Udayavani, Apr 6, 2017, 10:22 AM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court referred social media platform WhatsApp’s privacy policy matter to a Constitution bench which will hear the issue on April 18.

A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said the parties should appear before the Constitution bench and formulate issues to be taken up for the hearing.

The apex court had on January 16 sought responses from Centre and telecom regulator TRAI on a plea that privacy of over 157 million Indians has been infringed by social networking sites – WhatsApp and Facebook – for alleged commercial use of personal communication.

The Delhi High Court had earlier restrained WhatsApp, an instant messaging application, from sharing with Facebook the user information existing upto September 25, 2016 when its new privacy policy came into effect.

The High Court, in its verdict in September last year had directed WhatsApp to delete the information/data of persons who opted out of the service before September 25, 2016 and not to share it with social networking site Facebook or its group companies.

The high court had also directed the Centre and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to examine the feasibility of bringing the functioning of internet messaging applications like WhatsApp under statutory regulatory framework.

WhatsApp had earlier informed the high court that when a user account was deleted, the information of that person was no longer retained on its servers.

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