Facebook, WhatsApp Urge Delhi High Court to Stay CCI Notice in Privacy Policy Matter

Facebook and WhatsApp sought stay on the CCI’s June 4 notice. The high court had earlier issued notices on the appeals. Court had said it saw no merit in the petitions of Facebook and WhatsApp.

A vacation bench of Justices Anup Jairam Bhambhani and Jasmeet Singh said it will pass an order on the application.

The case relates to the appeals of Facebook and WhatsApp against a single judge order dismissing their pleas against the inquiry CCI ordered into the instant messaging app’s new privacy policy.

The high court had earlier issued notices on the appeals and asked the Centre to respond to it.

In their fresh applications filed in the pending appeals, Facebook and WhatsApp sought stay on the CCI’s June 4 notice asking them to furnish certain information for the purpose of probe conducted by it.

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Facebook and Whatsapp on privacy

He said the privacy policy is already under challenge in the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court by way of a batch of petitions and even the government is looking into it.

“Why did they wait for June 4 evening to issue the notice? They could have done it earlier,” he said.

He said till a report is submitted by the Director General to the CCI, there will be no cause action against them.

The high court had on May 6 issued notice and sought reply of CCI on the appeals filed by Facebook and WhatsApp.

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The court had said it saw no merit in the petitions of Facebook and WhatsApp to interdict the investigation directed by the CCI.

It had stated before the court that the new privacy policy of WhatsApp would guide to excessive data collection and “stalking” of consumers for targeted advertising to bring in more users and is therefore a claimed abuse of dominant position.

WhatsApp and Facebook had challenged the CCI’s March 24 order directing a probe into the new privacy policy.

They had also said that CCI’s decision was an abuse of the commission’s suo motu jurisdiction.

In January, the CCI on its own decided to look into WhatsApp’s new privacy policy on the basis of news reports regarding the same.

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