Government hits back at WhatsApp’s lawsuit, says right to privacy not absolute

New Delhi: Hitting back at WhatsApp’s lawsuit against the Indian government, the Center has said that it is committed to ensuring the right to privacy of citizens, but no “fundamental right is absolute”. The government also noted that the right to privacy is subject to “reasonable restrictions”. 

WhatsApp has filed a legal complaint against the Indian government seeking to block the newly rolled out regulations coming into force on Wednesday (May 26). Experts say that the rules would compel the California-based Facebook unit to break privacy protections, according to a Reuters report. 

Clearing the air around privacy concerns, Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the government of India is committed to ensuring the right of privacy to all its citizens but at the same time it is also the responsibility of the government to maintain law and order and ensure national security. 

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Slamming Whatsapp, India’s IT ministry Highlights, “WhatsApp seeks to mandate a privacy policy wherein it will share the data of all its user with its parent company, Facebook, for marketing and advertising purposes.”

“Any operations being run in India are subject to the law of the land”, WhatsApp’s refusal to comply with the guidelines is a “clear act of defiance of a measure whose intent can certainly not be doubted”, says India.

– With inputs from Sidhant Sibal

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