The Supreme Court on Monday sought responses of the government and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on a plea seeking framing of privacy policy to regulate commercial exploitaion of private communication through social networking sites like WhatsApp and Facebook. 

A Bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud also issued notice to WhatsApp and Facebook and sought their responses within two weeks. 

Source: b'Source: PTI'

The bench sought the assistance of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi in hearing the plea, which alleged that the social networking sites compromise the privacy of interpersonal communication of over 150 million people in the country. 

Senior advocate Harish Salve alleged that privacy of citizens has been infringed by the social networking sites, which amounted to infringment of Articles 19 (Freedom of Speech and Expression) and 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution. Right to Life includes the Right to Privacy, Salve said. 

In September, the Delhi High Court had directed WhatsApp to delete the information and data of those users who would stop using the app before September 25, when its new privacy policy comes into effect.

The court had issued the directions as WhatsApp, while launching its app initially, had provided complete security and protection of privacy as also because the issue relating to an individual's right of privacy is yet to be decided by the Supreme Court.

The court also directed the government and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to "consider the issues regarding the functioning of the internet message applications like WhatsApp and take an appropriate decision at the earliest as to whether it is feasible to bring the same under the statutory regulatory framework."

(Feature image source: Reuters)