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Bombay High Court Issues Notice On PIL Alleging Privacy Breach By True Caller App

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
8 July 2021 3:02 AM GMT
Bombay High Court Issues Notice On PIL Alleging Privacy Breach By True Caller App
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The Bombay High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Union and Maharashtra Government, among others, in a PIL against the Truecaller International LLP alleging its operation of shared data is 'illegal' and a 'breach of privacy.'A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni heard the PIL filed by one Shashank Posture, petitioner in person.The petitioner submitted that...

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The Bombay High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Union and Maharashtra Government, among others, in a PIL against the Truecaller International LLP alleging its operation of shared data is 'illegal' and a 'breach of privacy.'

A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni heard the PIL filed by one Shashank Posture, petitioner in person.
The petitioner submitted that the True Caller App collects data of users. It shares such data with some of its partners without the consent of users, and then dumps the liability on the user, he said.
Posture called it a "manipulative set up" because it left the user with no choice.
"The app also registers users for a Unified Payments Interface service without their consent, or without due process," Posture alleged.
In response to the court's query as to who were the beneficiaries of the True Caller App, Posture said "Google India, Bharati Airtel, ICICI Bank." He added that companies providing loans were also beneficiaries.
Posture said he had impleaded the Union, the Maharashtra government, the state IT department, Truecaller international LLP, ICICI Bank, and the National Payment Corporation as respondent parties in the case.
He accused the government authorities approving the App and allowing it to run without proper checks and in contravention of the information security practices rules.
The High Court said this was a fit case for issuing notices.
"The case of the petitioner is that Truecaller through its mobile application has indulged in an absolute breach of data privacy of citizens. He submits that such breach is contrary to data protection laws," the court said.
"We have heard the petitioner for some time and we are of the opinion that a notice is required to be issued to respondents," it said, directing the respondent parties to reply to the notice within three weeks.

In response to this Article, the True Caller has issued the following statement; 

"Truecaller is a privacy focused service, built on trust. We are compliant with data privacy laws and stand ready to comply with other data protection laws anywhere in the world. In addition, Truecaller practices 'data minimisation' - taking only the data required for our service to work, and nothing else.

In response, we would like to assure all Truecaller users that their data is safe. Truecaller does not sell or share user data. We deeply care about our users and their data, and would like to assure them that we securely handle their data and process it as per our Privacy Policy". 

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