• Privacy regulations needed for Facebook, WhatsApp : DoT to SC

    April 06, 2017

    The Centre informed the Supreme Court that it would soon formulate a regulatory framework, similar to one existing for all telecom operators, for Over-The-Top (OTT) services like WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, WeChat and Google Talk.

    Main argument put forward by Department of telecom was that OTTs use the network of telecom service providers to reach customers, render App-based products as well as compete by offering messaging and telephone facilities, yet are not subjected to any regulatory mechanism.

    This contention came in response to WhatsApp's affidavit in the SC taking a stand that the petition filed by Karmanya Singh Sareen questioning its privacy policy was not maintainable as "OTT services are governed in some respect by the provisions of Information Technology Act, 2000 and are not subject to the same regulatory mechanism that is enforced on conventional voice and messaging services provided by telecom service providers".

    Centre referred the issue to a bench of judges since the issue of privacy was strongly argued by the petitioner. It fixed April 18 for final disposal of the petitions even as a request was made that it should not be heard during the summer vacation. 


    Privacy is a major concern when it comes to social Apps like Facebook and WhatsApp. Framing regulations to ensure that privacy is not violated, has become necessary. With all kinds of misuse that happens on social platform, people are becoming more and more concerned day by day. For uninterrupted use of these Apps, it is crucial to prevent all such kinds of exploitations.

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