WhatsApp refuses to delete data as instructed by Indian higher court

WhatsApp will share old data with Facebook, says won’t comply with Delhi HC order

So, WhatsApp has decided to defy an Indian higher court’s order by refusing to comply with its ruling. Two teenagers had managed a partial victory against Facebook owned WhatsApp, when the Delhi High Court ruled that WhatsApp would have to delete data of users opting to disable their WA app and profile by 25th Sept.

WhatsApp, the mobile messaging service app, which offers end-to-end encryption of messages and multiple features for protecting conversations has announced that it is going to share information with its parent company, Facebook as planned, thereby going against a Delhi High Court order that had restricted it to share user data collected up to September 25, 2016 with the social media giant.

A division bench of the Delhi High Court had ordered the messaging service on September 23, 2016 to delete all data from WhatsApp servers of those users who delete their WhatsApp account before September 25, 2016 and not share users’ data collected under its old privacy policy with Facebook or any other related company.

The court also said that WhatsApp has to completely delete all data of users who choose to opt out of the instant messaging app after the coming into force of its new privacy policy. It also added that even those who choose not to opt out of the instant messaging app and agree with new privacy policy, WhatsApp will have to delete all data of these users up to September 25, 2016.

The ruling also mentions asking the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to consult whether messaging apps need regulation in the country.

“We have taken note of the fact that under the privacy policy of WhatsApp, the users are given an option to delete their WhatsApp account at any time, in which event, the information of the users would be deleted from the servers of WhatsApp,” the court said.

“We are, therefore, of the view that it is always open to the existing users of WhatsApp, who do not want their information to be shared with Facebook, to opt for deletion of their account,” it had observed.

However, the Delhi High Court’s order hasn’t impacted its planned changes in WhatsApp’s terms and privacy policy.

“The ruling has no impact on the planned policy and terms of service updates,” WhatsApp spokesperson Anne Yeh was quoted as saying in a statement on Thursday.

On August 25, 2016, WhatsApp made widespread changes to its privacy policy. Under the new norm, WhatsApp intends to share user account information with Facebook, including mobile phone number, contacts, profile pictures and status messages for targeted advertisement purposes. For the first time in four years, the app has even updated its terms and conditions policy to accommodate the new measure.

WhatsApp had given its users 30-days to opt out of the new privacy policy, which expired on September 25, 2016.

This isn’t the first time that WhatsApp has to deal with government officials on the matter. Recently, Hambourg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information of Germany had ordered Facebook to stop collecting user data from WhatsApp and to delete any information it had already gathered. Predictably, WhatsApp has also refused to comply with their requests, and said it will appeal against the court order.

Kavita Iyer
Kavita Iyerhttps://www.techworm.net
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human!!!


  1. I don’t understand, if users can have their data deleted by cancelling their account, isn’t that exactly what the court is ordering?


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