Supreme Court Issues Notice To Centre, Whatsapp And Facebook On Data Privacy

The petition asks that a privacy policy be framed for social media networks like Facebook and WhatsApp.

On a petition challenging the privacy of WhatsApp messages, the Supreme Court today sent notice to the centre, telecom regulator TRAI, WhatsApp and Facebook.

"It's a free service. Take it or leave it," Chief Justice of India, JS Khehar, said as a petitioner argued that around WhatApp messages should be regulated and privacy should be protected as around 155 million users are involved.

The petition asks that a privacy policy be framed for social media networks like Facebook and WhatsApp.

The court has asked for a response within two weeks from the government and others.

Last year, the Delhi High Court decided that WhatsApp will not share with Facebook or any other company users' data collected under its old privacy policy over the years up to September 25.

WhatsApp has to completely delete its data of users who opted out of the instant messaging app after its new privacy policy, the court said.

It also said that WhatsApp will delete users' data up to September 25, even of those who choose not to opt out of the instant messaging app and agree with new privacy policy.

Facebook and WhatsApp are also facing trouble in Germany over this data-sharing, with the German privacy watchdog ordering Facebook to delete whatever data it has received from WhatsApp. Unlike India, where there are no specific privacy laws to deal with user data and how it is shared and stored, Germany has strict data privacy laws.