What happens to user data after deletion of Whatsapp account : High Court


Whatsapp the popular social networking and instant messaging platform was asked that on the deletion of Whatsapp account by an user what happens to his or her personal user details, by the Delhi High Court on Wednesday.

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The company claimed in front of the Delhi High Court Officials that when a user deletes his or her Whatsapp account, the information of that person is no longer retained on its servers, its new privacy policy does not infringe on the privacy of users and no third party can read the messages due to its end-to-end encryption.

In its affidavit filed in the court, WhatsApp has said, "To improve performance and deliver media messages more efficiently, such as when many people are sharing a popular photo or video, WhatsApp may retain that content on its servers for a longer period of time."

Regarding end-to-end encryption, it has said that neither WhatsApp, nor any third party can read the users messages and the only person who can read it is the recipient to whom the message is sent.

"When a user deletes his/her WhatsApp account, and if the message is undelivered even after 30 days, it is deleted, or his/her undelivered messages are deleted from WhatsApp's servers as well as any of the user's other information. WhatsApp no longer needs to operate and provide the WhatsApp services," the messaging platform has said in its affidavit.

Chief Justice G. Rohini. said, “We don’t want to know about users willing to continue with WhatsApp. We are concerned about users who do not wish to share. What happens to past information/ data on deletion of account? What happens if you opt out?” 

WhatsApp had on September 14 opposed in high court the plea alleging that privacy of its users have been threatened by a new privacy policy announced by Facebook, saying regulations were in place and the latter does not have access to any data as it provides end-to-end encryption. WhatsApp had made extensive changes to its privacy policy on August 25, the first time since it was acquired by Facebook, giving users the option of sharing their account information with the social network giant. The messaging service gave its users 30 days till September 25 to opt out of the policy.

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