Whatsapp indulging in anti-user practice, obtaining 'trick consent': Centre tells Delhi HC

    03-Jun-2021   
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New Delhi: The Centre in a fresh affidavit on Thursday, told the Delhi High Court that the messaging app WhatsApp is indulging in 'anti-users practices' by obtaining 'trick consent' for its updated privacy policy.
 
The Centre submitted before Delhi HC that WhatsApp has 'unleashed its digital prowess' to unsuspecting users and wanted to force them to accept the updated 2021 privacy policy by flashing the notification at regular intervals.
The game plan is very clear, the Centre said, adding that Whatsapp intended to transfer its entire existing user base committed to the updated privacy policy before the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill becomes the law.
 
The Centre also submitted that the current notification, as being pushed by WhatsApp on its users, whether existing or new, is 'against the very grain of prima facie opinion of the Competition Commission of India's order dated 24/03/2021'.
 
The Centre has urged the Delhi High Court to issue interim direction to WhatsApp to desist from any action of 'pushing notifications' onto existing users related to the updated privacy policy and to place on record the number of times such notifications, as on date, are being pushed on an everyday basis.
 
It has also asked Whatsapp to place on record the conversion rate, i.e. notification to acceptance of the privacy policy.
The response of the Centre came after several petitions were filed against WhatsApp's updated privacy policy. One of was filed by Dr Seema Singh, Meghan and Vikram Singh seeking directions to the Union of India to order Whatsapp Inc to either roll back their policy or provide an option to opt out of the January 4 privacy policy.