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Delhi HC grants WhatsApp, Facebook extension to file replies to CCI in privacy policy probe

The messaging app’s new privacy policy notably expands on data sharing which has led to backlash and regulatory scrutiny.

The Delhi High Court on January 3 extended the time given to Facebook and Whatsapp to respond to notices sent to them by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), which is probing WhatsApp's new privacy policy, The Hindu reported. The Court was hearing the appeals of Facebook and WhatsApp challenging a single-judge order issued in April dismissing their pleas against the CCI probe. The bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh adjourned the proceedings in the case to March 30 noting that the Data Protection Bill is yet to be finalised. "Till then the time to file replies to the June 4 and June 8, last year, notices issued by CCI to the appellants [Facebook and WhatsApp] is extended." – Delhi High Court In a hearing in July, WhatsApp told the Delhi High Court that it has put its new privacy policy on hold until the data protection bill comes into force and it would not limit the functionality for users who haven’t agreed to the new privacy policy. Facebook and WhatsApp have been at loggerheads with CCI on this issue since March last year. While WhatsApp is of the stance that CCI has no jurisdiction over privacy-related issues, CCI maintains that it is looking into how WhatsApp was using its dominant position in the market to force users to share information with Facebook, which is a competition issue. This latest extension is a relief for Facebook and WhatsApp as it halts the CCI probe in its tracks. What arguments were made by…

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