The Supreme Court has directed WhatsApp to publicize its undertaking given to the Centre in 2021 that it will not limit functionality for users not agreeing to its new privacy policy.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice K M Joseph asked the mobile messaging app to give advertisement in five newspapers to publicize its undertaking given to the government.

"We record that the stand taken in the letter (to the government) and we record the submission of the senior counsel for WhatsApp that they will abide by the terms of the letter...till next date of hearing," the Court held.

"We further direct that WhatsApp will give publicity to this aspect to the customers of WhatsApp in five national newspapers on two occasions," the bench also comprising Justice Ajay Rastogi, Justice Aniruddha Bose, Justice Hrishikesh Roy, and Justice C T Ravikumar said while posting the matter for hearing on April 11.

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by two students, Karmanya Singh Sareen and Shreya Sethi challenging the contract entered into between WhatsApp and its parent Facebook to provide access to calls, photographs, texts, videos and documents shared by users is a violation of their privacy and free speech.

With PTI Inputs