The German authorities in April banned Facebook from collecting information on its WhatsApp users in the country, after it was found to have breached data protection laws.
The Facebook counsel urged the court not to interfere in private contractual matters.
Senior advocate Vibha Dutt Makhija said that the existing regulations only cover licensed telecom operators, not unlicensed ones such as WhatsApp. Venugopal said interested parties can not file a PIL on this issue. Senior advocate KK Venugopal, arguing against court intervention of any kind in what he described was a private contractual matter, also argued that interested parties can not file a PIL on this issue. The data was shared after WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014.
Under the new policy, introduced in 2016, WhatsApp can share all its users' data with Facebook.
During the hearing, Salve had read out the questions of law submitted by him, which included "whether Article 21 read with Articles 14, 19 and 25 of the Constitution, confers upon all persons the right to privacy in respect of communications which are private in nature, irrespective of the medium of communication".
But in Europe, Italy's anti-trust regulator which has fined the company, reportedly alleged that "the opportunity for WhatsApp users to refuse the handover of data to Facebook was available "but it was inadequately flagged".
However, advocate Madhvi Divan, appearing for the petitioners, told the bench that the regulation in place was outdated by the technology, a fact acknowledged by the Centre in an affidavit.
"It is ironical that in India that too before the Supreme Court, which is the highest court of the land, they are saying so", she said.
"Our promise is to provide enhanced services by sharing limited information without impinging an individual's rights", he said.
Since Facebook took over WhatsApp, it has been surrounded by controversies related to privacy.
"Why did you change the policy and what is the objective for sharing the data?" a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra asked WhatsApp on day one of the hearing.
"Are these unconscionable? Can they exist?" A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar is already hearing the triple talaq matter. Should the court not then lay down norms which will regulate the issue for the time being, he wondered.