A five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice KM Joseph will hear the plea challenging the privacy policy that allows the messaging platform to share users’ data with its parent company Meta on January 17, 2023.

The has asked all parties to conclude their arguments by December 17.

The matter is listed before a Bench comprising Justices K.M. Joseph, Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy, and C.T. Ravikumar.

Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for one of the petitioners, told the court that WhatsApp’s change in its privacy policy was challenged in the High Court. “There is a gap in the privacy policy which is applied to Europeans and the one applied here. The standard in the European Union countries is much higher and privacy enjoyed by them is of higher order,” he said.

He also said that Indian users should not be disadvantaged because privacy now is a fundamental right and has global implications. “In the absence of local laws global corporations have to adopt a golden standard,” he said.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the stand of the government is there cannot be different standards of policies for the citizens of different countries. “Indian users cannot be treated differently than other users of in other countries,” he said.

Mehta told the court that the Personal Data Protection Bill was withdrawn and a new Bill will be introduced in the next session of the Parliament

The court noted that if the government is keen on having legislation it could be enacted.

The matter is listed on January 17, 2023, for final disposal.

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