The Additional Solicitor General said that the concern of the Centre was that the users were not getting the option to choose.
This was a reiteration of what the court had said earlier on January 18.
Amidst this, Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, who was representing the Centre, said that the Ministry of IT was looking at the updated policy and it had also sought the response from WhatsApp in this regard.
The Additional Solicitor General also said that the concern of the Centre was that the users were not getting the option to choose. After this, the HC said that since the Centre was considering the matter and the platform was also responding to their questions.
During the hearing, the court also said that WhatsApp was just like other applications, and all of them had their own terms and conditions, then asking the petitioner how then was the application being prejudiced against him and why he was appealing against the Facebook-owned platform.
The court has posted the matter for further hearing on March 1.
Why is WhatsApp’s new policy so concerning?
A key thing to be noticed is that over the years, WhatsApp has become synonymous to textual communication. Amidst this hype, WhatsApp founders sold the platform to Facebook, which itself is in trouble for numerous counts of user data misuse, and it was only a matter of time before WhatsApp would also be roped in.
Due to its popularity and widespread use, WhatsApp went from being a platform for casual conversations to a messenger that also started being used for official communication. It has now become an instant messaging platform that has been integrated into the lives of its 40 crore users in India, which WhatsApp is well aware of. A switch to any other platform would mean a major change for not only individuals at a personal level but also at a professional level.
Therefore, such unilateral, non-optional changes in its policy could be construed as WhatsApp’s attempts to strongarm users into accepting the policy updates it is bringing about.
Moreover, several users in India could also be unaware of the serious implications of such a policy and with no option to decline the policy, might end up accepting it, compromising their data due to unawareness.