By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2022-08-27 00:41:00
While it is true that the services of the users who do not accept its new policy will not be terminated and they will just face restrictions like not being able to receive incoming calls or notification after a few weeks. Their calls and messages will still remain end-to-end encrypted. But the Delhi HC objected to the fact that the company was not giving a choice to the captive users to exercise their right to deny sharing their data with other group companies. It said that WhatsApp is adopting a 'take-it-or-leave-it' attitude which makes its new policy open to CCI scrutiny as it is restrictive trade policy. It dismissed the appeal by the company to stop the CCI probe.
With India still not having a comprehensive data law, it is upon courts and other institutions like CCI to prevent companies from using their dominant position in their respective field to share customer data without their express consent. It is also upon them to prevent companies from obtaining this consent by leaving the user with no other option like WhatsApp is doing. Also, the government must not delay in enacting a comprehensive law on data storage and sharing to ensure that the data collected by companies is not misused.