The petitioners Dr Seema Singh, Meghan and Vikram Singh sought a direction to the Central government to frame rules/guidelines/regulations to protect the privacy and data of citizens from all the apps and organisations operating in India.
The petition also prayed for formulation of “Social Media Intermediary Guidelines” by the Central government. The petition is filed through AdvocatesMeghan and Vikram Singh.
The petition stated,“The fundamental shift in the policy of WhatsApp from its previous policy which was rolled out on 20th July 2020, is that it provided the users of the platform with a choice of sharing WhatsApp account information, however the new policy does not even provide the users to have an option to protect their personal data by opting out of their policy. It further mandated that the person either accepts the uew policy in operation or will lose access to WhatsApp by the 8th of February 2021..the personal data of the users can be further shared and used by Facebook companies as well as 3rd parties for their commercial purposes.”
The petitioners have submitted that certain rights should be available for data protection, including the “right to be forgotten for a data principle”, relying on the Justice BN Srikrishna Committee report. The petition further read,
“However, there is no mechanism available as yet with Whatsapp or other facebook group companies that may stop the processing of this personal information after it has become unwanted by the point of view of data principal. Neither has the company specified a time period for how long this data may be stored and processed. Therefore, it may lead to hazardous consequences, in the absence of a proper mechanism to prevent the same, which in this case is completely absent as yet”.