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HC rejects pleas of FB, WhatsApp

  • The court said it saw no merit in the petitions of Facebook and WhatsApp to interfere with the CCI-directed investigation.

PTI By Ht reporter, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Published on APR 23, 2021 12:29 AM IST

The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed the petition by social media platforms Facebook and WhatsApp, directing an inquiry into WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, challenging India’s competition regulator’s order.

Justice Naveen Chawla said that although it would be “prudent” for the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to wait for the outcome of the petitions in the Supreme Court and Delhi HC against WhatsApp’s new privacy policy, the regulator would not do so. The order will be “perverted” or “seeking jurisdiction”.

The court said it saw no merit in the petitions of Facebook and WhatsApp to interfere with the CCI-directed investigation. The CCI had argued that it was not investigating alleged violations of the privacy of individuals, which were being looked into by the Supreme Court.

It was argued before the Court that WhatsApp’s new privacy policy would require excessive data collection and “stalking” of consumers for targeted advertising to bring in more users and is therefore an alleged misuse of the dominant position.

“There is no question of jurisdictional error,” he said, noting that WhatsApp and Facebook challenged the arguments challenging his decision as “incompetent and inaccurate”.

WhatsApp and Facebook challenged CCI’s March 24 order directing an inquiry into the new privacy policy.

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