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Last updated: September 30, 2016 at 16:33 pm

WhatsApp Falls in Line, Promises Court Not to Use Any User Data Collected Before 25th Sept

Delhi HC Finds Fault In WhatsApp’s Privacy Policy; Asks TRAI, DoT To Respond!

WhatsApp and Facebook were in the limelight recently for changing their privacy notices and allowing Facebook to use phone numbers from WhatsApp for ‘direct marketing’ and advertisements. WhatsApp was very adamant about this and did not want to make any changes to its policy across countries.

However, the Delhi High Court demanded that WhatsApp delete any user data collected before September 25. Although the High Court cannot force WhatsApp to apply the new privacy policy, it requested the software-giant to delete any data collected before last Monday.

Obeying High Court’s directions, WhatsApp is expected to delete user data with Facebook, that includes your contact list, profile picture and name. WhatsApp has said that it has every intention of following the Delhi High Court directives.

WhatsApp will comply with the order from the Delhi High Court. We plan to proceed with the privacy policy and terms update in accordance with the Court’s order. The Court’s emphasis on the importance of user choice and consent is encouraging,” said a spokesperson on this topic.

Germany’s order to stop sharing user information succeeded

WhatsApp was also under the scanner in Germany, when it announced that it will be sharing user data with Facebook. Since the user information and privacy are at a risk, the German regulators requested WhatsApp to immediately suspend this operation and continue with what was being done.

The regulators ordered Facebook to stop collecting data from WhatsApp and delete user information for roughly 35 million German accounts. Germany wants the users to decide whether their data should be shared or not, instead of Facebook imposing its rules and regulations that can put the privacy of consumers at risk.

Germany has conveyed their message to Facebook, and the tech giant is yet to respond to the European country. Meanwhile, some users have started migrating from WhatsApp to other messaging apps like Telegram, Google Allo and Snapchat.

What does it mean for users in India?

If Facebook and WhatsApp abide by the order from the High court, then the users should be partially happy about this ruling. Since no data will be shared with Facebook prior to September 25, WhatsApp users can be assured that their previous data won’t be put into wrong hand. Also, as they know that from 25th September, their data will be shared, they can take proper precautions.

However, post September 26, Facebook will start using your information and contact list for target ads, and Delhi High Court’s order might not be as effective as it would have been if the Court straightaway banned the service in India.

It is also not clear right now whether WhatsApp has already deleted all the data collected before September 25 and whether it will use it for some other business. In any case, going forward, users should be more careful of what they share and send on WhatsApp, since India’s privacy laws are quite lax.

No other country has yet ordered WhatsApp to stop sharing data with Facebook, which is quite strange, but a few nations like Brazil and the UK should be announcing their viewpoints very soon. Until this matter gets resolved, be very careful of what you’re putting out there on the social media apps.

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