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WhatsApp Tells Court: User Information Not Available After Account Is Deleted
Photo Credit : Reuters
Social networking platform WhatsApp on Wednesday told Delhi High Court that on deletion of user account, the information of that person is no longer retained on its servers.
The submission came in response to a query by a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal as to whether user information is retained after account deletion.
After hearing arguments on behalf of the petitioners and the social networking platform, the bench said it will "pass order" on September 23.
Senior advocate Pratibha M Singh, appearing for petitioners Karmanya Singh Sareen and Shreya Sethi, told the court that while WhatsApp claims in its affidavit that it does not retain messages, the company has contradicted itself by saying it can keep the messages for a longer period of time to improve performance.
Senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for WhatsApp, had told court that there are government regulations in place and the application does not share users private messages, contents, photos or data with Facebook.
Luthra had also said that WhatsApp only shares a user's name and the phone number with Facebook. "WhatsApp does not have access to any data as it provides end-to-end encryption", he had said.
The new policy, which comes into force from September 25, has sought to change the "most valuable, basic and essential feature" of WhatsApp, which commenced operations in 2010, by "unilaterally threatening to take away the protection to privacy of details and data of its users and sharing the same with Facebook and all its group companies including for the purpose of commercial advertising and marketing."
The plea sought direction to prohibit WhatsApp, Facebook Inc and Facebook India Online Pvt Ltd from sharing, in any manner, the details and data of every kind of subscribers with any entity, including Facebook or its family of companies.