Delhi HC orders WhatsApp to delete user data shared before September 25

The Delhi High Court has directed instant messaging service WhatsApp to delete personal information belonging to Indian users who quit the app by September 25. The order has been issued in regard to a PIL filed in the court about the application sharing user data with its parent company, Facebook. The new policy will come into effect on the aforementioned date.

The case is being heard by a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal. The judges have directed WhatsApp to not give Facebook any details about users who delete their account, and those who still continue to use the service till September 25, regardless of whether or not they have volunteered to share their data.

WhatsApp Stock Image

As of now, WhatsApp can stick to its revised privacy policy with those who choose to share their data with Facebook. The High Court has also ruled that the government and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India should consider bringing such Internet-based applications under a framework of regulations to protect privacy.

The court stated that it cannot force WhatsApp to continue with the original privacy policy drafted by the application. So now that the company is altering it, the court is of the view that users should quit the app if they do not want their information to be harvested for targeted advertising.

WhatsApp can share data with Facebook to enable the latter to roll out customized campaigns to account holders of both services. The information provided to the parent company can include profile pictures, contacts, and the kind of content that users access.

TL;DR: WhatsApp cannot give Facebook ANY Indian user’s information that was shared before Sep 25

WhatsApp has been unclear about the nature of the information it plans to share with Facebook and hence, users are naturally concerned about their privacy.