The central government, in an affidavit filed earlier, urged the court to stop the implementation of the policy until the court rules on the petition challenging the update.
Update Provides More Transparency On Data Practices: WhatsApp
WhatsApp urged the court not to entertain the petition, arguing it’s seeking to improperly stop the update which is a private contract between the users and the company.
- The company gives its users prominent, full-screen, easy-to-read notices of the 2021 update within the application.
- It clearly sets forth WhatsApp’s data practices.
- Users have been granted more than four months to review and consider the latest update.
If the relief sought by petitioners were to be granted based on the alleged deficiencies in the 2021 update, it would cripple the entire industry of internet-based applications and websites.WhatsApp To Delhi High Court
The company said the petitioners are incorrect in their assertion that the update is mandatory. It is not forcing anyone to accept the privacy update and the users can choose not to do so and stop using WhatsApp, it said.
It’s not right to say the company was earlier providing users with an option to opt out from accepting the privacy policies and continue to use the service, it said. The company is not under any legal obligation to provide such an option and the law permits companies not to provide their service to users who do not accept their terms and conditions, it argued.
In fact, online platforms are often less transparent by simply implying consent through continued use of their service after a certain date—rather than prominently and clearly giving users control and choice as WhatsApp did here.WhatsApp To Delhi High Court
According to the latest available information, WhatsApp says accounts of users who don’t accept the update will not be deleted. However, some of features of WhatsApp will not be available for them gradually over time.
The next date of hearing in the Delhi High Court is not known yet.