WA privacy policy in HC: Centre raises trick-consent tactics to lure users

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New Delhi, June 3 | The Centre told the Delhi High Court that WhatsApp, which became an “essential digital service” during the Covid pandemic, was now obtaining “trick consent” from its users for its updated 2021 privacy policy ahead of the pending Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill becoming a law.

The Centre claimed this was being done under a game plan to transfer the existing users committed to its policy

It emphasized that WhatsApp is indulging in anti-users’ practices by obtaining the “trick consent” from its users for its updated privacy policy.

“It is submitted that millions of WhatsApp existing users, those who have not accepted the updated 2021 privacy policy are being bombarded with notifications on an everyday basis,” said the affidavit, citing a screenshot of the push notification and urged the court to restrain WhatsApp from “pushing notifications” to its users.

In its additional counter submitted to the High Court, the Centre said: “The respondent no. 1 (WhatsApp) has unleashed its digital prowess to the unsuspecting users and would like to force them to accept the updated 2021 privacy policythe game plan is very clear, i.e, to transfer the entire existing user committed to updated 2021 privacy policy before the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill becomes the law.”

The Centre added that WhatsApp is currently having access to personal, sensitive personal and business data of hundreds of millions of Indian users and has also acquired a role that an “essential digital service” during COVID-19 pandemic.

Therefore, it is imperative that WhatsApp privacy policy should be examined on the touchstone of privacy principles as laid down in K.S. Puttaswamy verdict, the affidavit added.

The Centre added the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has formed a prima facie opinion that WhatsApp has contravened the provisions of Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002 “through its exploitative and exclusionary conduct, in the garb of policy update”.

The CCI had said a thorough and detailed investigation is required to ascertain the full extent, scope and impact of data sharing through involuntary consent of users.

“The current notifications as being pushed by the respondent no.1 on its users whether existing or new is against very grain of prima facie opinion of the CCI order,” added the affidavit.

The affidavit was filed on a PIL by Seema Singh, Meghan and Vikram Singh seeking a direction to the Centre to order WhatsApp to either roll back the new privacy policy or provide an opt-out option to its users.

The Centre had said the new updated privacy policy violated the Information Technology Rules of 2011 and WhatsApp may be restrained from implementing the new policy till the challenge to the validity of its policy is finally decided.

The Centre had introduced the PDP Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha. “Upon enactment, this law will provide a robust regime on data protection which will limit the ability of entities such as respondent no. 1 issuing privacy policies which do not align with appropriate standards of security and data protection,” said the affidavit.

Source: IANS

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Share Market Closing Bell: Market ends marginally lower amid volatility

Share Market Closing Bell: Market ends marginally lower amid volatility

Dalal Street witnessed tug of war between bulls and bears as Sensex settled at 54208.53 losing 109 points or 0.20 percent and Nifty ended at 16240.30 with loss of 19 points. Bank nifty closed the session at 34163.70 levels with loss of 138 point after erasing early session gain.

BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices turned flat after rising around half a percent each. On the sectorial front, Nifty Pharma and FMCG have contributed a percent each on a closing basis. On the flip side Nifty Realty, Nifty PSE ended with losses of 1.75 percent and 1.73 respectively. In Nifty stocks, TATACONSUM, CIPLA and ADANI PORT were the top gainers while POWERGRID, BPCL and TECHM were the prime laggards.

In the daily chart Nifty has ended with a bearish candle. However 16200 levels are protected throughout the day. Index might face high volatility on weekly expiry day. Riding against the trend may not be beneficial for short term traders. According to volume profile 16100 and 16000 may act as immediate support.

Indicators such as MACD and RSI are still struggling to overcome from oversold zone in the daily time frame. From the time cycle prospect Index would remain highly volatile till 27th May of this month. Bollinger band indicates 16650 would remain strong resistance in coming days. On the other hand, Bank nifty has support at 33400 levels while resistance at 35000 levels.

Om Mehra
Research Associate
Choice Broking

Source: Choice India

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