Supreme Court says a Constitution bench will determine if WhatsApp's user data sharing policy is violative of citizens' right to privacy
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that a Constitution bench will determine if WhatsApp’s user data sharing policy is violative of citizens’ right to privacy.
Petitioner Karmanya Singh Sareen, a student, had sought the intervention of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to regulate use of data that belongs to Indians.
The high court ruling delivered by Delhi high court chief justice G. Rohini had asked Trai to determine if an instant messaging service such as WhatsApp could be brought under the existing statutory framework.
On 25 August 2016, WhatsApp sent a notification to its users, asking them to accept recent changes in its terms and conditions. Many users agreed without checking the changes, and with that, unintentionally allowed WhatsApp to pass information about them to its parent Facebook for commercial use.
The apex court in August 2015 referred the question of whether an Indian citizen enjoys a fundamental right to privacy to a Constitution bench in the case challenging the legal validity of Aadhaar. The court is yet to set up a larger bench to examine the issue.
A Constitution bench comprises five or more judges of the apex court to hear cases that require interpretation of the Constitution.