Two Indian students have legally challenged Facebook stating that sharing WhatsApp numbers of users with advertising companies for ‘relevant’ advertisements threatens the right of millions of users. According to Bloomberg, Karmanya Singh Sareen and Shreya Sethi filed a public-interest litigation (PIL), akin to a class action, in the Delhi High Court asking for a rollback of recent policy updates by WhatsApp. They asked the court to order the government to frame guidelines for messaging apps so that user privacy isn’t compromised.
A lot is at stake for Facebook in India, where it has close to 150 million users, its biggest base outside the US. Research firm eMarketer said India would soon have the world’s largest Facebook population. WhatsApp has over 70 million users in India, according to a SimilarWeb report in May.