Facebook announces that WhatsApp new privacy policy has not been pushed back and effective on May 15

Facebook announces that WhatsApp new privacy policy has not been pushed back and effective on May 15


Both WhatsApp and Facebook have said that their privacy policy does not violate any Indian law. They also added that accounts not accepting the policy will not be deleted immediately. 

WhatsApp told the Delhi High Court on Monday that their new privacy policy has not been deferred and was brought into effect from May 15. 

The Facebook-owned messaging platform clarified before a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh that the deadline for the privacy policy has not been extended but accounts that have not accepted the policy yet will not be deleted immediately.

“We are still trying to persuade consumers but if they don’t accept slowly, slowly these accounts will be deleted. There is no universal deadline for this,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who is representing WhatsApp, said. 

For accounts that do not accept WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, the features available for use on the platform will gradually be taken away till their account is finally deleted.

Responding to WhatsApp, the Centre maintained that the new privacy policy violates the Indian Information Technology (IT) law and asked the platform to maintain the status quo. 

ASG Chetan Sharma, appearing for the Centre, pointed out that India has the largest number of WhatsApp users in the world and there is a need to maintain the status quo. Sharma added that the government had written to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg regarding this issue and a reply was awaited.

According to reports, both WhatsApp and Facebook have opposed the stay on the privacy policy and have stressed that it does not violate any Indian law. The company has stressed that the deletion of accounts will happen on case-to-case basis and that there is no time limit in force for that.

The matter has been posted for a detailed hearing on June 3. The High Court is hearing a batch of petitions that have challenged the new WhatsApp privacy policy and has also issued a notice to the Centre, Facebook, and WhatsApp seeking their stand on one of the petitions filed by a lawyer who has claimed that the new policy violates users’ right to privacy under the Constitution.

This matter was initially listed before a single judge and at that point in time, the Centre has said that WhatsApp was treating Indian users differently as compared to European users. European users have an option to opt out of the new privacy policy. 

This was a matter of concern for the government along with the fact that Indian users were being “unilaterally” subjected to the change in the privacy policy.