In response to this legal challenge, the Delhi High Court today stated that accepting the new privacy policies of the messaging app, WhatsApp was a voluntary thing. Judge Sanjeev Sachdeva told the petitioner that a user is free to choose not to use the app and leave if they don’t agree with the updated terms and conditions. They can switch to any other messaging app.
“It [WhatsApp] is a private app. Don’t join it. It is a voluntary thing, don’t accept it. Use some other app,” said Justice Sachdeva (via LiveMint/ PTI). He continued to add that reading the terms and conditions for some of the most popular apps could be an eye-opener for all. “You would be surprised as to what all you are consenting to,” said Sachdeva. He then cited the example of Google Maps, saying it captures and stores all of your location data. Isn’t that more concerning?
WhatsApp and Facebook were represented by senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Mukul Rohatgi respectively. These two, along with Justice Sachdeva, had a fun banter at the hearing. Sibal and Rohatgi made the hearing comical by creating confusion about who represented WhatsApp and who Facebook. Sachdeva asked them to “share data with each other” and figure it out. You can read this hilarious banter right here:
Mukul Rohatgi: I appear for #WhatsApp
Kapil Sibal: No, no. I appear for #WhatsApp, you are for #Facebook
Justice S Sachdeva: Both of you also need to share some data with each other on who appears for which party
— Utkarsh Anand (@utkarsh_aanand) January 18, 2021