- People value privacy. It's our duty to protect privacy, the court said.
- Petitioner said WhatsApp was differentiating between Europe and India.
- The court will now take up the case for hearing after four weeks.
The Supreme Court today told social media firm Facebook and its messaging app, WhatsApp, that it will have to intervene to protect people's privacy in the wake of the latter's new policy in this regard. Issuing a notice to the Centre, along with the two platforms, the court is now set examine the popular service's fresh course on this front.
"You (Facebook and WhatsApp) may be two or three trillion (dollar) company. But people value their privacy. It is our duty and we have to protect people's privacy," the Supreme Court said today.
"People have great apprehension over loss of privacy," Chief Justice of India Sharad A Bobde said. "People think that if somebody messages to someone then...the whole thing is disclosed to Facebook."
Both Facebook and WhatsApp, through their counsel Kapil Sibal and Arvind datar, respectively, told the court that such fears were not based in reality.
Senior Advocate Sibal, however, said, "This policy is applicable to rest of the world, except Europe. Europe has a special law and we will follow that law. Once there is a law here we will follow that."
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta then told the court whether there was a law or not, privacy must be protected as it was a fundamental right. He also said the court's apprehension over data was shared by the nation.
The court will now take up the case for hearing after four weeks.