Once again, corporatization of data, business of information and a multi-billion dollar company has won, defeating users’ privacy choices. Promises have been conveniently and legally broken, and there is no going back from now on.
But such faint show of legal enforcement is nothing compared to what WhatsApp will enforce, achieve and acquire after September 25th.
As if acknowledging the limitation which Indian judiciary has right now against such aggressive tactics to acquire massive data, Delhi HC has asked TRAI to form ways to regulate messaging apps in future.
What Will Happen With WhatsApp Data Now?
In terms of fairness, WhatsApp is asking their users to provide consent regarding using that information for Facebook advertisements; which to be very honest, is a weak attempt to balance this controversial u-turn by WhatsApp.
The users who provide this consent should prepared to get bombarded with advertisements on their personal Facebook profile, triggered by their WhatsApp data.
And those who don’t provide the consent of this usage on Facebook should be prepared to experience a different form of indirect advertisement, the details of which are still not clear.
Why Did WhatsApp Win?
This is the real power of monopoly, as WhatsApp is aware that no other messaging app has a reach like that of them in the Indian market, and when everyone is on the network, then there isn’t much choice for the odd-man out who is concerned about the privacy aspect.
As we had reported last week, WhatsApp had said in the court: “Nobody has forced anyone (users) to join. If one is not happy (with the terms and conditions of the service), then opt out”
During the trial, Delhi HC had admitted that there isn’t much laws to control OTTs right now, and for this reason, TRAI has been asked to prepare regulations.
However, after the verdict yesterday, petitioners have consoled themselves by accepting the fact that atleast WhatsApp needs to remove old data, collected before September 25th, and also have to remove data from uninstalled accounts.
The counsel for the petitioners said, “WhatsApp will have to make changes to its policy to incorporate the directions of the court. For the future it will create a sensitivity among people that all their data could be shared with Facebook. If users make a conscious choice to share, then it’s fine.”
We will have to wait and see how this verdict changes the working and strategy of messenger apps, in terms of using users’ data; and how can TRAI form regulations to protect the same.