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Whatsapp Moves Delhi High Court Challenging Traceability Clause Under New IT Rules As Violative Of Right To Privacy

Nupur Thapliyal
26 May 2021 4:48 AM GMT
Whatsapp Moves Delhi High Court Challenging Traceability Clause Under New IT Rules As Violative Of Right To Privacy
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Challenging new IT rules, Facebook owned platform Whatsapp has moved Delhi High Court challenging the "traceability" clause alleging that the aforesaid clause is violative of a person's right to privacy as enshrined in the Supreme Court judgment of KS Puttuswamy v. Union of India, reported Indian Express.In view of this, the plea prays for declaring the said requirement as unconstitutional...

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Challenging new IT rules, Facebook owned platform Whatsapp has moved Delhi High Court challenging the "traceability" clause alleging that the aforesaid clause is violative of a person's right to privacy as enshrined in the Supreme Court judgment of KS Puttuswamy v. Union of India, reported Indian Express.

In view of this, the plea prays for declaring the said requirement as unconstitutional and also for stopping it to come into force. 



According to WhatsApp, Traceability would force private companies to collect and store who-said-what and who-shared-what for billions of messages sent each day. This will require platforms to collect more data than they need, solely for the purpose of turning it over to law enforcement agencies. 

As per a new post added by Whatsapp in its "Help Centre" column, it has been stated thus:

"Traceability forces private companies to turn over the names of people who shared something even if they did not create it, shared it out of concern, or sent it to check its accuracy. Through such an approach, innocent people could get caught up in investigations, or even go to jail, for sharing content that later becomes problematic in the eyes of a government, even if they did not mean any harm by sharing it in the first place."

Furthermore, it adds:

"The threat that anything someone writes can be traced back to them takes away people's privacy and would have a chilling effect on what people say even in private settings, violating universally recognized principles of free expression and human rights."

The three-month window that the Central Government provided to social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. to comply with the new social media rules, ended yesterday i.e. May 25.

The Information Technology (Guidelines For Intermediaries And Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 were notified by the Centre on February 25, 2021, to inter alia regulate the social media intermediaries by imposing a code of ethics and mandating a three-tier grievance redressal framework.

Click here to read/download the petition

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