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Delhi HC adjourns hearing challenging WhatsApp’s privacy policy till August 27

Observing that there was no urgency in the matter, the Delhi High Court on Thursday adjourned till August 27 hearing in the petitions challenging WhatsApp’s new privacy policy.

A division bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh adjourned the matter after hearing Advocates Manohar Lal, Meghan and Senior Advocate Vivek Sood appearing on behalf of the petitioners.

After hearing the prayers of the petitioners, the Court adjourned the hearing in view of the recent statement made by Whatsapp that it’s privacy policy will not be enforced till the time the Data Protection Bill comes out and that it will need to fit in the law in such a situation.

“There is already a matter pending in the Court wherein they had made this statement. Should they be made to make such a statement again and again?” Chief Justice DN Patel orally remarked.

The statement was made by WhatsApp in an appeal by WhatsApp and its parent company Facebook Inc against a single bench order declining to interfere with CCI’s investigation.

Earlier, the Central Government had informed the Court that WhatsApp is indulging in obtaining “trick consent” from its users to accept its contested privacy policy of 2021.

It had claimed that users who have not accepted the 2021 policy, are being bombarded with such notifications on a regular basis, with the overarching plan being to get the entire existing user base committed to the policy before the enactment of the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill – which will be the prevailing law on the subject.

On the other hand, WhatsApp had submitted that its newly updated privacy policy does not affect the privacy of personal messages (of its users) with friends and family in any way. Moreover, it was stated that the 2021 Update is not “mandatory”, and that WhatsApp is not forcing anyone to accept the newly introduced update. Live Law

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