Facing a possible scrutiny in the privacy policies of messaging platform Whatsapp, its owner and social media giant Facebook told the Supreme Court that those having doubts can quit WhatsApp.
On behalf of WhatsApp, advocate Kapil Sibal assured the apex court that messages and voice calls over the messaging service ensured full privacy as they were end-to-end encrypted.
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However, he maintained that as the contract between WhatsApp and the respective user was in the private domain the privacy issues could not be tried by the SC constitutionally and therefore that the petition filed by students Karmanya Singh Sareen and Shreya Sethi was not maintainable.
On behalf of the petitioners, Harish Salve said that under the new policy, consumers were made to give consent to both WhatsApp and Facebook and that private messages shared between users on WhatsApp could be snooped on by FB.
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“They claim that this is being done to improve services to be given in future to users. Whether the snooping is done electronically or manually, the right to privacy of users gets breached. The government is duty bound to protect the fundamental right of every citizen. If it is failing, then the SC can surely issue appropriate directions,” TOI quoted Salve as saying.
Additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta appearing for the centre told the court that a regulatory regime for internet based messaging and voice call platforms would soon be put in place.
The preliminary hearing has been fixed for May 15.
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