The court ruled that Facebook and WhatsApp’s requests to halt the Competition Commission of India’s investigation were without substance (CCI).
The high court had previously reserved its decision in the case, stating that the order of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) does not seem to be concerned with consumer privacy concerns and instead reflects an inquiry into misuse of dominant position.
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It went on to say that there was “no question of jurisdictional mistake,” and that WhatsApp and Facebook’s appeals were “incompetent and misconceived.”
CCI also advised the court that it would be impossible to decide whether WhatsApp’s data collection and sharing with Facebook constituted an anti-competitive activity or a misuse of the dominant position before the investigation was completed.
It also claimed that the information gathered, which included an individual’s location, the type of computer they were using, their internet service provider, and whom they were speaking with, would lead to the development of a consumer profile and preference that would be monetized by targeted ads, and that all of this amounted to “stalking.”
They also claimed that the CCI’s decision was a misuse of the commission’s suo motu authority, arguing that the CCI had “drifted far away” from the competition angle and was investigating the privacy issue, which was already being investigated by the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court.
They also said that end-to-end encryption continued to secure private messages and that WhatsApp cannot read what people message each other. The majority of the data produced belonged to WhatsApp because customers have only given their phone number, which is needed to register on the messaging platform, according to the company.