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‘Privacy more important than your money’: Supreme Court issues notice to WhatsApp

The Supreme Court of India on Monday sought responses from the Centre and messaging app WhatsApp within four weeks on a fresh plea alleging lower standards of privacy for Indians than European users.

The top court asked Whatsapp to intervene and protect privacy of its users. It said that people have grave apprehensions about losing their privacy, and it is our duty to protect them.

 

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde issued notice to the government and the Facebook-owned app on an interim application filed by Karmanya Singh Sareen in a pending petition of 2017.

The apex court said people value their privacy more than the value of the company which might be in trillions.

WhatsApp told the top court that Europe has a special law on privacy and it will also follow if India has a similar statute.

The Centre told the apex court that the social media apps cannot share data of users and data must be protected.

The petitioner challenged privacy policy alleging that there is huge metadata of users which is being shared for profit.

The top court had in 2017 referred social media platform WhatsApp’s privacy policy matter to a Constitution bench saying it concerns the larger issue of privacy and right to personal liberty.

The appeal filed in the apex court by Karmanya Singh Sareen and Shreya Sethi assailed the Delhi high court verdict on the ground that no relief was granted for data shared by users post-September 25, 2016, and it amounted to an infringement of fundamental rights under Article 19 (Freedom of Speech and Expression) and 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution.

With PTI Inputs