The opt-in privacy policy and its various twists and turns


WhatsApp, a Facebook-owned instant messaging platform, informed the Delhi high court on Friday that it will not force its users to accept its new privacy policy until the data protection bill is passed. According to a PTI report, it also informed the court that the new policy has been placed on hold and will be implemented "if Parliament permits it." Users who choose not to opt in to the new privacy policy will not be limited in their platform's functionality until then, according to the platform.

The pleas of Facebook and WhatsApp were heard by a panel of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh against a single-judge ruling refusing to stay a Competition Commission of India (CCI) order mandating an inquiry into WhatsApp's revised privacy policy.

WhatsApp also issued a statement assuring users that the recent upgrade "does not impact the privacy of people's personal messages," according to the company. Its goal, according to the statement, is to "offer further information about how individuals can interact with businesses if they choose to do so."

WhatsApp's privacy policy was changed in January of this year, allowing it to share data on users' interactions with business accounts with its parent firm, Facebook.

The decision generated huge privacy concerns among users, as well as fury, after WhatsApp declared that if users refused to accept the terms, the platform's functioning would be limited. Following criticism, the platform postponed the policy's implementation, but stated again in February that it would proceed with its decision. Despite the Indian government's pleas for the corporation to abandon its plans, this happened.

The Centre said that the new privacy policy failed to clarify the sorts of "sensitive personal" data being gathered and with whom the information is shared, citing the Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rules, 2011.