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Supreme Court seeks response from WhatsApp, govt over non-security of data, conversations

SC has issued notice to Centre and Facebook-owned WhatsApp over non-security of data and conversations on Whatsapp and has sought reply in 2 weeks time.

Supreme Court seeks response from WhatsApp, govt over non-security of data, conversations

New Delhi: SC has issued notice to Centre and Facebook-owned WhatsApp over non-security of data and conversations on Whatsapp and has sought response in 2 weeks time.

Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud were hearing plea on WhatsApp's privacy policy, and gave notice on plea seeking government's regulation of online messaging. The petitioner contended that under the new policy of WhatsApp, the online messaging service could access, read, share and use the contents for commercial purposes.

The court also issued notices to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

Though the Supreme Court raised questions on need of fresh norms how the chat messenger saves and shares users' data, it told the petitioner: "It is a private person extending private service. You take it or leave it -- that is your right."

Appearing for the petitioner, senior counsel Harish Salve told the court that it was the duty of the government to protect "my right under articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution and safeguard my privacy".

As per reports, in order to regulate chat messengers, the government is expected to bring out amendments to Section 67C of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

Currently, the Act talks of preservation and retention of information by intermediaries. It says that the intermediary shall preserve and retain such information as may be specified for such duration and in such manner and format as the Central Government may prescribe.

It also says that any intermediary who intentionally or knowingly contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be punished with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and also be liable to fine

The committee reported to be headed by additional secretary in the ministry of electronics and IT (MEITY) and representative each from the ministry of home affairs, department of telecom, department of personnel and training, Nasscom and Internet Service Provider Association of India (ISPAI) are expected to frame the guidelines.

India is the largest market for WhatsAppp globally. India has 160 million active monhly users. WhatsApp can be used in 10 Indian languages.

With IANS inputs