WhatsApp’s legal battle with two petitioners in India came to a head recently, with the chat app categorically telling the Delhi High Court that it’s new policy does not infringe on the privacy of its users. The petition against the company was filed in August this year after it had announced its revamped system.
The controversial change allows WhatsApp to share information with Facebook and display marketing messages from brands. The firm is now responding to the High Court petition by stating that its new guidelines don’t interfere with consumer privacy and no outside party can snoop on messages because of end-to-end encryption.
WhatsApp further asserted that all messages are deleted from its servers after it’s been delivered. However, it may store the missive for up to 30 days if the communication does not get sent. The company apparently gets rid of such undelivered messages post this time limit.
Senior advocate Pratibha M Singh, who is appearing on behalf of the petitioners, blasted WhatsApp by pointing out that the application should give a full opt-out option to its users when it comes to their information being shared with Facebook. Furthermore, she thinks the company shouldn’t be allowed to take advantage of such content without the express permission of the individual.
According to PTI, the petitioners also told the bench that there was a stark contrast in the claims made by WhatsApp regarding message retention. While the app says it doesn’t store chats, its affidavit states that it may retain popular photos or videos which are being shared frequently in order to improve performance and deliver media more efficiently.
The Delhi High Court is now planning to pass its judgment on the case on September 23. If it votes in favor of the petitioners, WhatsApp and Facebook won’t be able to share user data with any entity including the latter.