A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and justice Jyoti Singh issued notices to the ministry of electronics and information technology and WhatsApp on the plea which has contended that the new policy is in violation of right to privacy of an individual.
The plea has also sought formulation of guidelines, rules and regulation for safeguarding the privacy of the citizens. It has said that the “fissures in law with respect to data are quite conspicuous and a framework to regulate the same is the need of the hour”.
On Wednesday, additional solicitor general (ASG) Chetan Sharma said the Centre has sent out questionnaires to WhatsApp on various issues, seeking answers. He also said a joint parliamentary committee is looking into the matter.
The PIL, filed by Seema Singh and Meghan Singh, said, “Social media in recent years has been used by billions of people around the world and millions of Indians today are dependent on Whatsapp. Therefore information which is generally personal is shared at an enormous level. This information is susceptible to being misused if the social media giant decides to either sell or exploit the information, sensitive to the users, to any third party.”
The court, while hearing Rohilla’s plea, had said that WhatsApp is a private application and it is not mandatory for people to download it if they had problems with its new policy. The matter is likely to be heard on March 1.