Assuring the Supreme Court that it was actively considering a law on protecting data imprint of individuals on WhatsApp, Facebook and other social networking sites, the Centre had, on April 18, sought deferment of the hearing.
Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi told a five-judge constitution bench, headed by Justice Dipak Misra that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was in the process of evolving the data protection framework.
Earlier on January 17, the apex court issued a notice to WhatsApp and the central government on data privacy. The court also agreed to examine as to whether Facebook’s access to details of calls, messages, photographs and documents exchanged by the users of WhatsApp violated the citizens’ right to privacy.
A petition filed before the Supreme Court had claimed that there is no protection of data on Facebook and WhatsApp.
According to the petitioner, there are 157 million users on WhatsApp and Facebook, therefore the service provided by the social network and messaging app should be considered as a public utility service.
In September 2016, the Delhi high court had ordered WhatsApp to delete the data of users who had deleted the messaging app from their devices.