Ever since WhatsApp’s bold terms update, the messaging app has been facing lawsuits and rebuffs from users. A similar case was pleaded in India by two students last week which led Delhi’s High Court directing the Facebook-owned company to alter its policies and delete the data of users who chose to opt out before September 25. However, the messaging giant seems to be ignoring these objections and has stated Mashable India that it will continue sharing information with Facebook as planned.
WhatsApp, further added, that orders from the High court have not impacted their updated privacy policies whatsoever which came into effect past Sunday. WhatsApp spokesperson Anne Yeh stated that “The ruling has no impact on the planned policy and terms of service updates”. WhatsApp might argue that given their American roots, they’re not necessarily obliged to act under India’s legislation, as described by Amlan Mohanty, a lawyer, and internet activist. Although, they have an active user base of over 100 Million in India and as a result of that, Facebook may have to, after all, eliminate the data they accumulated and operated on.
WhatsApp announced back in August that they’ll be directly exchanging users’ information such as individuals’ phone numbers with Facebook for refining social maps and friends’ suggestions. They offered a time span of one month for users wanted to opt out which is now expired. Additionally, this data will be utilized to improve ads that you see and through regular metrics analysis, fight spam on WhatsApp. What concerned most customers is the fact that the shared information will be further given to businesses for “emergency” purposes.
Another such infringement case recently rose in Germany when the public expressed data integrity fears on WhatsApp users’ privacy feeding phone numbers and connections to Facebook. The officials, consequently, have ordered the social media leader to stop collecting data at all and delete the information they’ve stored till now. Surprisingly, here Facebook has raised an appeal proclaiming the updates have been primarily made in order to fight spam and improve the user’s experience.
It is quite intriguing that Facebook is taking action in Germany which constitutes about 35 Million of its users and at the same time, avoiding the directives raised in India, a country with more than twice the active users. Their operations might have to deal with temporary halt if the High Court decides to take this any further which they will. Given the widespread usage in India, it would be best, in our opinion, that Facebook doesn’t overlook the consequences. Nevertheless, we’ll now have to wait until WhatsApp issues any more updates.