NEW WHATSAPP PRIVACY POLICY

Whatsapp Inc has updated its privacy policy and terms of service for WhatsApp users. It was reported that the new policy makes it binding for the users to simply accept the terms and conditions so as to maintain their WhatsApp account information and provides as to how it will share personalised user information with Facebook Inc and its subsidiaries.

  • . On January 4, 2021, WhatsApp announced a revised privacy policy through an in-app notification. One of the changes focuses on how users interact with business onwhatsapp. Information from those conversions can be used marketing purpose, which may include ads on facebook. On January 13, 2021, WhatsApp published a blog post clarifying that the changes did not apply to personal communications (with friends and relatives)
  • CCI has directed an investigation against whatsapp over the much controversialrecent update of its privacy policy. The antitrust body said that the online messaging platform has contravened the provision of section 4 of competition Act 2002 through its exploitative and exclusionary conduct in the garb of policy update.
  • The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has sent a letter to the CEO of WhatsApp, asking the company to unilaterally withdraw the change in privacy policy, calling it “inappropriate and unacceptable”.In its letter, the ministry objected to WhatsApp’s “all-or-nothing” approach, which forces users to accept new terms of service and privacy policies.
  • To compromise quality in terms of protection of individualized data and can deem it unnecessary to even retain the users friendly alternative, such as opt out choices without the fear of erosions of its user base having considered the media reports and the potential impact of the policy and terms for WhatsApp users and market the commission in its ordinary meeting held on 19 th of January first decided to take Suo moto cognizance of the matter.Today WhatsApp is one of the most used app all over the world. It has more than two billion users, so if its policy and term of uses get changes then its affecting a quarter of the world’s population.
  • WhatsApp, that is those who chat on WhatsApp, that data will be used for marketing on Facebook. Facebook is the owner of the WhatsApp, Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014 and now the data of WhatsApp will be used for those ads which are run on Facebook so that personalized targeting ads can be brought.

MEANING AND DEFINATION OF INSTANT MESSAGING SERVICE

Instant messaging (IM) technology is a type of online chat allowing real time text transmission over the internet or another computer network. Messages are typically transmitted between two or more parties, when each user inputs text and triggers a transmission to the recipient(s), who are all connected on a common network. Instant messaging, often shortened to IM, is the exchange of near real- time messages through a stand-alone application or embedded software. Unlike chat rooms with many users engaging in multiple and overlapping conversations, IM sessions usually take place between two users in a private, back-and-forth style of communication. WhatsApp is an instant messaging app and its provide instant message service to the users. It provide their service to the user fully free of cost and end to end encrypted. There are many apps which provide instant messaging service e.g.; telegram ,signal, snapchat etc. but no one compete with WhatsApp. More instant messaging software include the option for performing file transfer, audio chat , video calling and conferencing, sharing desktops, etc.

Instant Messaging Apps:

  • Yahoo! Messenger
  • Windows live messenger
  • Skype
  • Whatsapp

Two kinds of instant messaging software

  • Application based
  • Web based

FACTS OF WHATSAPP CASE

WhatsApp Inc has updated its privacy policy and terms of service for WhatsApp users. It was lay to rest alia reported that the new policy makes it binding for the users to simply accept the terms and conditions so as to maintain their WhatsApp account information and provides as to how it will share personalised user information with Facebook Inc and its subsidiaries. Thus, the notification shows that in order to use the services of Whatsapp, from 08.02.2021 onwards, users will have to compulsorily accept the new terms and policy in their entirely. The Competition Commission of India, in its meeting on 19.01.2021, decided to take suo motto cognisance of the matter. Facebook has submitted that Facebook Inc is the parent company of WhatsApp, Facebook and WhatsApp are distinct legal entities. It is WhatsApp (not Facebook) that gives and operates WhatsApp instant messaging service that’s the topic of the Hon’ble Commission’s Order. Facebook humbly submits that it should not be arrayed as a party to these proceedings and WhatsApp is the appropriate entity to provide the Hon’ble Commission with the information sought. As far as WhatsApp cares, it filed public version of its response dated 03.02.2021 vide its submission dated 25.02.2021. WhatsApp did not suit the directions of the Commission but has also taken the pleas which are ex facie untenable. In this regard, the Commission notes that the reference to the provisions of Section 35 of the Act by WhatsApp is meticulously gone astray. WhatsApp has cited the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Competition Commission of India v. Bharti Airtel Limited and others, (2019)2 SCC 521, and stated that the said decision highlights the need to maintain civility between decisions of different authorities on the same issues reported that the Commission should only exercise jurisdiction after the proceedings before the sectoral regulator had concluded and attained the climax. In a hearing in the Delhi High Court, Whatsapp and Facebook collectively argued that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has interfered in the matter by ordering an investigation into the Whatsapp new privacy policy and are overreaching its jurisdiction even after the issue of privacy is already being dealt by the Supreme Court. However, the CCI argued that it looked into the competition aspect and are not alleging violation of personal privacy. Moreover, they added in the court that whether the data collection by whatsapp and sharing it with Facebook would amount to an anti-competitive practice or abuse of dominant position can be examined only after the investigation. The Ministry of Electronics and IT said the change in policy and the manner in which it was communicated “undermines the sacred values ​​of informational privacy, data security and user choice for Indian users…”.Conversely, in asking messaging apps with over 50 million users to introduce traceability, the government itself may be at odds with protecting informational privacy. The Delhi High Court decision may mark the first real-world examination of the fundamental right to privacy by the Supreme Court in its 2018 Puttaswamy (Privacy) judgment. In that decision, the Supreme Court identified informational privacy as one of nine fundamental confidentiality, and that “which reflects an interest in preventing information about itself from being disseminated and controlling the extent of access to information

Relation with Harshita Chawla, Alphabet Inc., Vinod Gupta Case

(Harshita Chawla v. WhatsApp Inc., Case No. 15 of 2020 (‘Harshita Chawla case’) as well as XYZ v. Alphabet Inc., Case No. 07 of 2020) The Informant has claimed that WhatsApp is in serious non-compliance of critical and mandatory procedural norms pertaining to data localisation and storage. The Informant has raised concerns with data security. These, in the considered view of the Commission, do not seem to raise any competition concern and as such may not need any further scrutiny by it. To contend that issues related to data localization and data sharing need not be looked in under the Competition law.

CONCLUSION

The CCI’s suo motto cognizance of Whatsapp’s privacy policy is one of the instances of this fact. There is no right to foreign company to take personal data of our citizen because data protection is the assets of country and that also giving a very blunt “to take it or leave it policy” this is like a very irresponsible thing and they abuse their dominance position by imposing unfair term and condition. The CCI has wide powers under the Competition Act in the event of finding abuse of dominance and may pass such orders or requests as it deems fit and to stop these digital market who abuse their position and doing targeted marketing by using personal data of citizens it also violates the right to privacy of citizen. If India had a data protection law, whatsapp would not have been launch this new policy update. It is the high time that the government should initiate digital awareness programs to make the people. If India had a data protection law, whatsapp would not have been launch this new policy update. It is the high time that the government should initiate digital awareness programs to make the people.While there may be a case for amending the Competition Act to tackle the practices of large technology companies, as demonstrated in the article, there is enough maneuvering ground in the present law itself to evaluate the economics of Facebook’s market power, and use it to prevent abuse of dominance. Scrutinising Whatsapp’s 2021 Privacy Policy offers a unique opportunity for the CCI to evaluate the questions, examine relevant evidence, and rule on the impacts Whatsapp could have on a free and fair digital economy. India is a country with a database of 400 million users whose breach of privacy cannot be accepted. WhatsApp’s discriminatory policy calls on India to make provisions that claim intolerance to any discrepancy and based on which India would prefer a more equitable approach


Author: Jainab Khatoon


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