WhatsApp Says No One Forced Anyone To Use Their Services; Govt Admits They Cannot Control OTTs!
Taking a hard stand, which may not give positive vibes, WhatsApp has said that no one has forced anyone to use their services, and they are free to opt out if their privacy policies are not acceptable.
Senior counsel Siddharth Luthra, who is representing Whatsapp, said, “Nobody has forced anyone (users) to join. If one is not happy (with the terms and conditions of the service), then opt out”
Earlier, we had reported a confirmation by a WhatsApp employee, that no matter consent is provided or not, details related to users would be anyways shared with 3rd parties. The only consent which users provide is regarding sharing of data with Facebook, which is really insignificant if the data is anyways shared with other advertisers.
Messages Content Won’t Be Shared With Facebook
However, giving an assurance to its users (who are still with WhatsApp, afterall), Sidhartha Luthra said that message content will not be shared with Facebook.
Infact, he informed the court that due to its encryption policy, WhatsApp doesn’t record or store any messages, hence they cannot share it with any party.
Earlier, Senior Advocate Pratibha Singh, representing the youths who filed the petition against WhatsApp said, “The policy says that sharing can be restricted (by users) only for Facebook advertisements and experiences, for all other purposes the data may be shared”
Govt. Admits That They Cannot Control OTTs
Meanwhile, during the arguments presented before the court by the petitioner and Govt. counsels, it was admitted by both the parties that under current legal framework, it was not possible for the Govt. to control or regulate OTTs such as WhatsApp.
The petition has even requested the Court to frame guidelines for protecting users’ data and private information; and to make necessary amendments in the Information Technology Act 2000 for the same.
We will keep you updated as more details come in regarding this case.