Whatsapp User Policy: Personal data integral to life and dignity, Centre to Supreme Court
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Whatsapp User Policy: Personal data integral to life and dignity, Centre to Supreme Court

Bar & Bench

The Central government today made some interesting submissions before a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court which is hearing the case relating to User Policy of Whatsapp.

Additional Solicitor General PS Narasimha, representing the Central government, told the Court that personal data is a reflection of personality of an individual and integral to life and dignity.

The submissions were made before a Bench of Justices Dipak Misra, AK Sikri, Amitava Roy, AM Khanwilkar and M Shantanagoudar.

Senior advocates Harish Salve appeared for the petitioner Karmanya Singh Sareen while Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal and Arvind Datar appeared for Whatsapp. Senior Advocate KV Viswanathan represented the Internet Freedom Foundation.

The hearing also witnessed some heated arguments between Sibal and Salve. Sibal, responded to submissions by the petitioners that WhatsApp shares the data collected from users.

“Record my statement. We do not share any data”, he said.

Sibal also submitted that possibility of an injury cannot be a ground to strike down a law.

ASG Narasimha argued that personal data is a reflection of an individual’s personality and integral to dignity and life. The Centre told the Court that it is contemplating enacting a regulatory framework for Facebook, WhatsApp etc to ensure data protection.

The matter has now been adjourned for September 6 since the Right to Privacy case is being heard by a 9-judge bench and the judgment in the same could have implications in the present case.

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