Won’t limit functionality of users till data protection law comes into force: WhatsApp tells Delhi HC

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New Delhi [India], July 9 (ANI): Messaging platform WhatsApp on Friday told the Delhi High Court that it would not force users to accept its new privacy policy and for some time will not limit functionality until the government passes the Data Protection Bill. WhatsApp further submitted that it has voluntarily agreed to put on hold the update, which triggered the controversy till the Data Protection Bill comes into force. Senior Advocate Harish Salve, appearing for WhatsApp, told the Delhi HC that Whatsapp has responded to a notice by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology seeking a response.

Senior Advocate Harish Salve submitted before a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Jyoti Singh that WhatsApp will not limit functionality for some time and continue to show users the updates until Data Protection Bill comes into force. “We have voluntarily agreed to put an update on hold till then, ” said Salve.


Delhi High Court was hearing Facebook and WhatsApp pleas challenging a single-judge bench order dismissing their pleas against the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) decision.

However, the challenge to the CCI order and privacy policy is a different issue, Salve submitted.

The Court put certain questions to WhatsApp and said that there was an allegation that the platform wants to collect data and give it to others, remarking that such things cannot be done.

The Court also sought to know whether there is a difference between the messaging platform’s policy in India and Europe.

In his response, the Senior Advocate said, currently, the inquiry is over update and the messaging app will not do anything if the parliamentary law comes into force and says you can’t share the data, as it needs to fit in the law.

In his response, the Senior Advocate said, currently, the inquiry is over the update, and the messaging app will not do anything if the parliamentary law comes into force and says you can’t share the data.

Appearing for Facebook, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi submitted that Facebook is only the parent company of WhatsApp and has been roped in for nothing.

The Court has adjourned the matter for July 30 for further hearing.

The Court was hearing the petitions of WhatsApp and Facebook challenging the CCI order for an investigation into the messaging app’s new privacy policy, which was adjourned on Friday.

Earlier the Division had issued notice to CCI in the matter.

The single bench of Delhi High Court on April 22 had dismissed Facebook and WhatsApp pleas challenging the CCI order for an investigation into the messaging app’s new privacy policy.

The petitioners had challenged the March 24 order passed by CCI directing a probe into the new privacy policy and the probe should be completed within 60 days. Facebook and WhatsApp said that since the issue of WhatsApp’s privacy policy is being heard by the Supreme Court, High Court, therefore, there was no requirement of CCI to order the probe.

Senior Advocate Harish Salve and Former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi appeared for the petitioners and had told the court that CCI proceedings must be kept in abeyance as the matter is pending before Supreme Court and High Court.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Aman Lekhi, who represented CCI in the matter, had earlier told the court that the matter is not of privacy but access to data and the Competition is going to deal with metadata.

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