New policy does not infringe on users’ privacy: WhatsApp to HC

New Delhi, Sep 21 (PTI) WhatsApp, the instant messagingplatform, today said its new privacy policy does not infringeon the privacy of users and no third party can read themessages due to its end-to-end encryption. When a user deletes his or her WhatsApp account, theinformation of that person is no longer retained on itsservers, the company claimed before the Delhi High Court. WhatsApp, which is opposing a petition challenging itsnew privacy policy, told a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini andJustice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal that a message is deleted fromits server after it is delivered to the recipient and they maykeep it on its server for upto 30 days, only in case themessage is not delivered. It said that if the message is undelivered even after 30days, it is deleted. Senior advocate Pratibha M Singh, who was appearing forpetitioners Karmanya Singh Sareen and Shreya Sethi, opposedthe contention, saying WhatsApp was not giving "any choice atall" to the users so that their information is not shared onFacebook. "They (WhatsApp) should give a full opt-out option to theusers from their information being shared with Facebook andthey should not be allowed to use the information for anypurpose without the consent of the user," she said. Singh also sought that the information of such users,who completely opt out of WhatsApp, should be deleted fromthe servers. "What will happen if a user completely deletes WhatsApp,"the bench asked senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearingfor WhatsApp. "We are only concerned about the users who will opt outsaying they do not want to accept the terms and conditions ofthe new policy. We do not want to go into other issues," thebench told Luthra. Responding to this, Luthra said "no data will be sharedif the user opts out. When you (user) will delete WhatsAppaccount, the undelivered messages will be deleted. We willretain nothing." The bench said it would pass appropriate order onSeptember 23 on the PIL against the recent WhatsApp decisionto share user data with parent company Facebook. WhatsApp had made extensive changes to its privacy policyon August 25, the first time since it was acquired byFacebook, giving users the option of sharing their accountinformation with the social network giant. It gave its users30 days till September 25 to opt out of the policy. (More) PTIABA HMP PPS RKSARC

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