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Indian Students Score a Partial Win in Facebook Privacy Dispute

  • Judge rules that WhatsApp can use data of users who remain
  • Facebook must delete data on people who leave the app

Two Indian students scored a partial victory over Facebook Inc. in a closely watched legal battle over privacy, though they failed to get the internet giant to reverse policies they say threaten the rights of millions of users.

WhatsApp revised its privacy policy last month to share data with owner Facebook and allow targeted ads and messages from businesses, laying the groundwork for the free messaging service to begin making money. Students Karmanya Singh Sareen and Shreya Sethi, 19 and 22 respectively, then filed a public-interest litigation -- akin to a class action -- seeking to block those changes. They wanted a rollback of those updates, in a lawsuit that’s attracted attention as a test case for how legal authorities around the world may respond.