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Whatsapp and Facebook to come under regulations in India

  • Published at 02:59 pm April 6th, 2017
Whatsapp and Facebook to come under regulations in India
India’s Department of Telecom informed the nation’s Supreme Court on Wednesday that it will soon be imposing regulations on WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype and other over-the-top (OTT) services, reports the Times of India. The department said the regulations will be similar to existing ones on telecom operators, arguing that OTT services are not currently under any regulation mechanism. According to the Times of India, the assertion was in response to WhatsApp challenging a public interest litigation case filed against it in 2016. The case was in relation to WhatsApp’s 2016 privacy policy that allowed for the sharing of users’ data with Facebook for advertising and marketing purposes. The petitioners in the case argued that the policy constituted a breach of privacy. Their advocate said the lack of privacy also stifled the right of free speech in conversations between two individuals. On the other hand, Kapil Sibal, a senior advocate for Whatsapp and other OTT service providers in this case, maintains that there was no privacy violation as messages sent on WhatsApp were end-to-end encrypted, meaning even WhatsApp could not read them. The Supreme Court Bench on Wednesday referred the issue to a five-judge bench, despite opposition from OTT service providers, and fixed April 18 for the hearing date.