WhatsApp case: Govt tells SC it will protect citizens’ freedom of choice | india-news | Hindustan Times
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WhatsApp case: Govt tells SC it will protect citizens’ freedom of choice

WhatsApp’s new privacy policy allows it to collect and share information about its users with Facebook and all its group companies for commercial advertising and marketing on its platform.

india Updated: Apr 28, 2017 00:05 IST
Bhadra Sinha
WhatsApp’s new privacy policy allows it to collect and share information about its users with Facebook.
WhatsApp’s new privacy policy allows it to collect and share information about its users with Facebook.(REUTERS/ Representational Photo)

Speaking in support of two students who have challenged WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, the government told the Supreme Court on Thursday that it was firm in protecting one’s constitutional right to freedom of choice and the law envisaged to protect data imprint was aimed at doing the same.

In his brief submission before a constitution bench headed by justice Dipak Misra, additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta said : “All of us have a freedom to choose. And it has to be a positive assertion.” Mehta, however, said that if the petitioners argue that the policy violated their “right to privacy”, then the court would have to refer the matter to a larger bench, which is to determine if the constitution recognises this as a fundamental right.

The court fixed May 15 to start hearing the arguments, despite opposition by the counsel representing WhatsApp and Facebook. Senior counsel Kapil Sibal asked the court to slot the matter for July, a request the bench said will be looked into on the next date.

WhatsApp’s new privacy policy allows it to collect and share information about its users with Facebook and all its group companies for commercial advertising and marketing on its platform. Sibal denied the petitioners’ claim and said there was no snooping as alleged in the petition filed against last year’s Delhi HC order that had asked TRAI to examine if WhatsApp could be brought under a regulatory framework.