WhatsApp may be trillion-dollar company but people’s privacy value more, says Supreme Court
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WhatsApp may be trillion-dollar company but people’s privacy value more, says Supreme Court

Supreme Court while issuing notices to WhatsApp, Facebook and the Centre in the matter fixed hearing after four weeks

The Supreme Court on Monday told social media giant Facebook and WhatsApp, that it will have to interfere to protect citizen’s privacy in the view of the new policy by messaging app in this regard. Issuing a notice to the two platforms and Centre, SC is now set examine the service's fresh course in the case.

The observation came as senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing petitioner Karmanya Singh Sareen, required direction to detain WhatsApp from applying its new privacy policy in the country.

"They have come up with new differentiating privacy policy for the Europeans and different set of rules applicable to Indians," Divan argued. He added that till the time new data protection law comes into force in India, WhatsApp should not bring its new privacy policy.

At this, Chief Justice SA Bobde replied, "We will issue notice in the matter." A bench, headed by the Chief Justice and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, told counsel for WhatsApp: "People have grave apprehensions about loss of privacy. You may be 2 or 3 trillion dollar company, but people value their privacy more than your money... we have to protect people's privacy."

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Arvind Datar, appearing for WhatsApp, strongly contested Divan's argument, saying that the Delhi High Court is already seized of the matter.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, said the right to privacy is a fundamental right and they cannot compromise with the privacy of people. The top court directed WhatsApp and Facebook to file their statement contesting the contentions in the present application.

The Chief Justice told WhatsApp counsel that people think if a message is sent from a person to another and then to a third person, the whole thing is disclosed to Facebook. The apex court while issuing notices to WhatsApp, Facebook and the Centre in the matter fixed hearing for four weeks.

(With inputs from IANS)

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