By LE Desk

Kochi, June 23, 2021: A public interest litigation has been filed in the Kerala High Court seeking a directive to the Centre to ban the operation and use of WhatsApp if does not comply with the orders of the lawful authorities in the country.

In his petition, K.G. Omanakuttan, a software engineer from the state’s Idukki district, pointed out that WhatsApp had refused to comply with the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethic Code Rules, 2021.

Besides, WhatsApp was violating the fundamental rights of the citizens guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution and posing a potential threat to the national interest and national security. If the app was not willing to change its technology and did not cooperate with the government, it should not be allowed to operate in the country. The Centre had banned many websites and mobile Apps for acting against the interest of the country, the petitioner said, reported The Hindu.

The company had stated in its privacy policy that it would collect any type of data from its users, including their phone’s battery level. This statement was contrary to the apps’ claims that the messages sent on its platform were protected by end-to-end encryption.

Its privacy policy also stated that it could store messages sent by a user. Besides, its contention that it never identified the non-user numbers was baseless. In fact, the app was exposed to a lot of bugs and errors and could be easily manipulated. It was being used by anti-national elements to send messages and information, the petitioner added.

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