May 6, 2021

India filed a lawsuit against Watsup over bridge of data privacy:

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) – WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy verges on user surveillance and threatens India’s security, a petition filed in an Indian court said on Thursday, presenting another legal challenge for the Facebook Inc-owned messenger.

WhatsApp said on Jan. 4 it reserved the right to share some data including location and phone number with Facebook and its units such as Instagram and Messenger.

This decision triggered emotional trauma including in its biggest market India where it has 400 million users.

The development has also met with a challenge in Turkey with the country’s Competition Board this week launching an investigation into the messaging service and its parent.

In the part of Asian world, many users have began installing rival apps like Signal and Telegram, pushing WhatsApp to start a costly advertising campaign to calm customers.

“It virtually gives a 360-degree profile into a person’s online activity,” lawyer Chaitanya Rohilla said of Whatsapp’s new policy in the petition to the Delhi High Court.

According the copy of a petition, seen by Reuters, said Whatsapp was jeopardizing national security by sharing, transmitting and storing user data in another country with the information thus governed by foreign laws.

“WhatsApp has made a mockery out of our fundamental right to privacy,” it said.

The company has given users Feb. 8 deadline to agree to the new policy.

“This type of arbitrary behaviour and browbeating cannot be accepted in a democracy and is completely ‘ultra vires’ (beyond its powers) and against the fundamental rights as enshrined in the Constitution of India,” the petition added.

Watsup will be heard by the Delhi High Court on Friday.

It did not respond to a request for comment. It has said before that the policy update does not affect privacy of messages with friends and family, as group chats are encrypted and the changes only relate to interactions with businesses.

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