• Monday 29 May 2017

    Whats App Users will stay Away From The Trap Indian Supreme Court

    When we are sharing any kind of information on a social networking platform or a messaging platform, we need to be sure that it is safe and secure. The websites and the messaging platforms ensure that the information which we share is protected, safe and secure.

    If we consider social media, then the users have the option to which audience will be getting to know about it. This is how the information is secured, it is our choice to share it publicly or just with our friends. We need to look deep into this, are the entire information for real safe and secure?

    In India, last week, the Supreme Court has requested the law authorities to ensure that the user data is safe and secure. They wanted to be sure that the users are not being enticed in the social media and messaging platforms.

    The analysis shows that there are around 160 million users in India, who use WhatsApp and Facebook. Both the services are being provided for the users and it is essential that they are not falling into the trap. On the other hand, the government requested the High Court to create a system to have the user data safe and secure.

    Apart from that particular factor, it is said that the system must of mandatory in nature to be followed. There is a duty which the state authorities have to follow to secure the rights of the citizens which they hold. Both the service providers have been providing it for free and this is why they want to ensure that everything is safe.

    It is said that there was a bench of five-judge with the lead of Justice Dipak Mishra. At the end of hearing, they wanted to ensure the security of the information which is being shared by the users. They were opposing the appeal by WhatsApp for the update in the privacy policy of the app in 2016.

    The bench explained the details which the app holds and the firm was questioned whether the users will be forced to share the information by the company at any given moment. It might be a violation if something of that kind is being done to the users. There was another question raised, why there were myriads of reactions from the users when the privacy policy updated?

    WhatsApp stated that the users were not willing to share the information as in whole. It is a fact that the users do not want their information being shared on a social media when they feel that their privacy is at stake. The bench clearly stated that the privacy policy was something which actually allures the users to use this particular platform.
    Why would the users from around the world have reacted to it in this way? On the other end, Germany users refrained using the app as they feel that the company has gone back on its word. If the update with the privacy policy was a progressive one, why do the users need to react this way? These were the questions which were posed against the messaging platform. 

    The senior advocate KK Venugopal, who was representing Facebook, as WhatsApp is owned by Facebook. He clearly stated that the information which will be shared by the firm will not be of a personal or delicate kind. India is at present changing its paths and is being transformed into a digitized country.

    A benefit which the app has is that there is an end-end encryption available for the users. This makes it clear that the information which is being shared on the platform is completely secure. There is no possibility for any third party or WhatsApp to have an access to the messages which are being shared between two users.

    Privacy laws are being followed in the countries and he stated that it is government to decide on it as well. Meanwhile, the bench stated that the next hearing for this case would be on 21st of July. In that mean time, they will be working on creating a system for having the user data secure and get a solution for the privacy policy.

    A user always has a freedom to choose and right for having their privacy not violated by any means. The law authorities are already into creating a strong secure system for the user data. They are in process of creating mandatory law or administrative directions which would be required by default.

    In this hearing, Venugopal also stated that for time being there is no said foundation for this particular issue. But, most of the pleas have been covered in the Information Technology Act of 2011. There are rules in the framework and issue has been elevated, unfortunately, the appeal is not in a condition of maintainability. 

    On the other hand, he said that the firm is following the rules which have been set by the law in the country. K V Vishwanathan has appeared for Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) and is the mediator in this case. The rules are applicable for both the platforms, even though it does not come under the privacy policy issue which has been appealed to the court.

    If there are any possibilities of sensitive information being shared through the platform and in any case, it is not been taken into consideration, what will be the role of the law? This was the question posed by the bench to Venugopal and he was also asked whether any kind of sensitive information will be shared or not?

    The senior counsel responded to this question and stated that there will be no sensitive or personal information shared. WhatsApp will be sharing only phone numbers, device ID, Last Seen Status and details of the registration made with the app. These will be the only information which WhatsApp will be sharing with Facebook. 

    Venugopal said that these kinds of information were not of sensitive nature and there is no need for any kind of consideration. Unfortunately, there is no particular law in India, where the data needs to be protected and a right to privacy. This is something makes things vulnerable and WhatsApp has been following all the rules in the act.

    It is not only India where WhatsApp is struggling with this particular issue. The European Union is in talks with WhatsApp on this particular issue and there has been no solution yet. But, it is said that this summer WhatsApp will be sharing information with Facebook, only if it was in favor of WhatsApp.

    Right from the moment, there was a change in the privacy policy of the app, the outcome of it is something which was not anticipated by the firm. People were absolutely not happy when they got to know that their information will be shared. WhatsApp has always made sure that the user’s privacy is never at stake no matter what.

    After 7 long years, WhatsApp is considered to be world’s largest messaging platform with around 1.2 billion users. We can clearly see that the company has come a long way and in the recent times there have been updates in the app and wonderful features have been added to the app. It is high time that WhatsApp clears the issues with its privacy policy, as it is something which it has got ingrained in itself since the beginning.  

    Author Bio:
    Anand Rajendran is CEO and Co-Founder of  Zoplay, best PHP scripts development company located in India. Zoplay is a part of Casperon Technologies a leading social and mobile development company which is developing , leading innovative and collaborative software development teams to deliver major software applications like SCIMBO - Whatsapp Clone Script. I'm a Tech geek, Digital marketing expert, Entrepreneur, and Atheist who loves to write everything about PHP Scripts and mobile application development.

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