A petitioner in Whatsapp’s biggest market, India, on Thursday moved to the Delhi high Court challenging the app’s upcoming changes to its data sharing policy.
The petition claims that the new terms, which will affect about 450 million Whatsapp users in India are a violation of the fundamental right to privacy and pose a threat to national security.
According to the petitioner, “the new terms grant Whatsapp a 360-degree profile into a person’s online activity” without any “government oversight.”
“WhatsApp has made a mockery out of our fundamental right to privacy while discharging a public function in India, besides jeopardizing the National Security of the country by sharing, transmitting and storing the users data in some [other] country and that data, in turn, will be governed by the laws of that foreign country,” the petition, which is expected to be heard Friday, reads.
Through a pop-up, Whatsapp is is alerting users of their intention to share data with social media platform, Facebook. Users are only given two options, to agree or visit the help centre through the link to delete their account.
Whatsapp competitors, Signal and Telegram, have both recorded high volumes of new registrations since the announcement last week. They are promising improved privacy and security to woo even more users to their platforms.
“The smallest of events helped trigger the largest of outcomes. We’re also excited that we are having conversations about online privacy and digital safety and people are turning to Signal as the answer to those questions.Signal co-founder and chairman executive Brian Acton told Tech Crunch in an interview.
Several startup founders and executives in India have also decried the changes, accusing the app of double standards as users in Europe will not be affected by the new terms.