Indian SC wants details of all the data WhatsApp shared with third parties

By : |September 7, 2017 0

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra has directed Facebook owned WhatsApp to file affidavits stating what user data they have shared with “third parties.” On its part, the messaging platform told SC that it did not share any user data with third parties except the user’s telephone number, device details, device registration number and ‘last seen’ (on WhatsApp) details.

The clarification came as the Centre told the Supreme Court that an expert committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of former apex court judge Justice BN Srikrishna to identify key data protection issues in India and recommend methods to address them.

The case pertains to a petition filed by two law students alleging that a contract entered into between Facebook and WhatsApp in 2016 on data sharing was a violation of a citizen’s right to privacy. The data, according to them, included photographs, messages, pictures and other personal documents shared by users on WhatsApp.

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With a nine-judge Constitution bench holding privacy as a fundamental right on August 24, the debate over data sharing gained momentum as the ruling discussed and recognized informational privacy as an aspect of the right to privacy. It also highlighted the dangers of sharing information using the various technological means at people’s disposal.

The apex court did not pass an order and fixed the matter for hearing on 20 November. WhatsApp has been asked to file an affidavit within four weeks, enlisting details of what data is shared with third parties.

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