WhatsApp says it will comply with Delhi High Court ruling, denies reports

Popular instant messaging app WhatsApp has officially confirmed that it’ll comply with Delhi High Court’s ruling to not share users’ data with Facebook or any other related platform. After the report that WhatsApp would share the data with Facebook as decided, the company came up with an official statement –

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

The Delhi High Court on September 23 ruled in favor of a PIL filed by two Indian students opposing Facebook and WhatsApp’s decision to share data on their entire network. As the court has now directed WhatsApp to stop sharing users’ data collected up to September 25 with its parent holding Facebook, or with any other related network.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced a change in its privacy policy on August 25, according to which the messaging platform was to share users’ data with Facebook and any of its other platforms. The data collected was to be used for internal analysis to essentially help the company improve their services and target advertisements. Users were given a 30-day time period to decide if they wanted to allow WhatsApp to share all their data up till September 25, which was the last day for them to opt in or opt out of the new policy.

However, a division bench led by Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Dhingra Sehgal directed that WhatsApp will not share users’ data collected under its old privacy policy up to September 25. As per the court’s order, WhatsApp needs to completely delete all users’ data even if they chose to not to opt out of WhatsApp’s new privacy policy. As it was found in the court hearing that WhatsApp is sharing its entire users’ data with Facebook even if users chose to opt out of its new policy.

Apart from India, even the German government expressed their concern over WhatsApp’s data sharing policy. However, Facebook did not comply with the decision and is now planning to appeal against German government’s ruling. Though in India, it seems Facebook will comply with the high court’s order and update its privacy policy in accordance with the Delhi High Court’s ruling.

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