How do you protect clients’ secret data, SC asks Facebook & WhatsApp

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Facebook & WhatsApp
Facebook & WhatsApp

The Supreme Court of India pulled up popular social networking site operators such as Facebook and WhatsApp in maintaining clients’ information as secret and asked them to furnish the measures initiated to protect the clients’ interactions as secret.

A case was filed with the apex Court stating that personal information shared or provided by clients on Facebook and Whatsapp were not protected under any Copyright Act. In January, the apex Court had asked WhatsApp to explain action taken by it to keep secret its clients’ data. The trial in the case has been going on for the past four months.

Attorney-General of India Mukul Rohatgi had told a 5-Judge Constitution Bench that the Centre’s Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was in the process of formulating a mechanism to protect user information as secret. The PLI filed with the apex Court alleged that data/information remained in WhatsApp’s server even after the concerned users delete them from their respective mobile phones.

Last year, the apex Court directed WhatsApp to delete those data from its server. When the case came up for hearing yesterday, the Court wanted to know what measures Facebook and WhatsApp took/proposed to take to protect clients’ personal information as secret. Detailed information along with requisite affidavits would have to be furnished to the Court within the next four weeks, the Court ruled.

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