WhatsApp puts privacy policy on hold until data protection law is enacted
WhatsApp puts privacy policy on hold until data protection law is enacted
Photo by Anton from Pexels

Facebook-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp on Friday gave a commitment in Delhi High Court that it has put on hold its new privacy policy and won't compel users to opt for it until the personal data protection bill pending in Parliament since December 2019 becomes a law.

The government planned to get the Bill passed in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament from July 19, but it may be further delayed since the 28-member joint parliamentary committee, which was to give its report at the start of the session to pave way for consideration of the Bill, has become defunct.

This because its chairperson Meenakshi Lekhi as also other four members -- Ajay Bhatt, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Bhupender Yadav and Aswini Vaishnav – have become ministers in the union ministry after the recent reshuffle.

Appearing for WhatsApp before a Bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Jyoti Singh, senior advocate Harish Salve said: "We voluntarily agreed to put the policy on hold and we will not compel people to accept it."

Last month, the High Court had refused to stay the notices issued on June 4 and 8 by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) asking WhatsApp and Facebook to furnish certain information with regards to a probe ordered by it into their new privacy policy.

A single judge bench had asked CCI on April 22 not to proceed on the basis of its notices until the outcome of the petitions in the Supreme Court and Delhi High Court on the new privacy policy.

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Free Press Journal