Data Privacy Row: SC Asks WhatsApp To Give Undertaking On Oath That Private Data Is Not Being Shared With Third Party 

Data Privacy Row: SC Asks WhatsApp To Give Undertaking On Oath That Private Data Is Not Being Shared With Third Party Supreme Court Of India (Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images) 

The Supreme Court has issued notices to Facebook, WhatsApp and the central government and even asked WhatsApp to give an undertaking on oath that private data of users is not being shared with any third person, Hindustan Times reports.

The apex court has also listed the matter after four weeks whilst proclaiming that its their responsibility to protect people’s privacy.

Addressing the row, a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice SA Bobde said, “You make a statement on oath. It can't be done by sharing data of Indians.... What we have heard and read in the media, people think if A messages to B the whole circuit to whom the message goes is known to Facebook/WhatsApp.”

This order has been passed on an application filed by Karmanya Singh Sareen in 2016 regarding WhatsApp’s privacy policy that was rolled out back then. According to that, the messaging platform shared its data with Facebook after the Mark Zuckerberg-founded company took over WhatsApp.

The recent application challenges the freeware’s latest policy that allows it to share data with third-person companies. Advocate Shyam Diwan appeared for the petitioner and argued that the Indian users have been unfairly treated as compared to their European counterparts.

In fact, the application pleads the Supreme Court to restrict WhatsApp from implementing their new policy until the Constitution Bench decides on it or the central government turns up a law for data protection. Meanwhile, Congress MP Kapil Sibal is representing WhatsApp claimed that no sharing of private data is being done whereas he insisted that this matter is pending in front of the Delhi High Court.

“Regardless of whether there is a law or not, right to privacy is part of fundamental rights. They (WhatsApp) must protect the right to privacy. They must not share data,” Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told Supreme Court.