May 27 2021: Messaging and social media app WhatsApp has moved the Delhi High Court against recent Indian regulation that require instant messaging platforms to identify the ‘originator’ of messages.
Said a Whatsapp representative: “Requiring messaging apps to ‘trace’ chats is the equivalent of asking us to keep a fingerprint of every single message sent on WhatsApp, which would break end-to-end encryption and fundamentally undermines people’s right to privacy.”
The government defended its new digital rules saying they do not violate privacy and sought a compliance report from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp with regard to the new rules applicable from yesterday.
"The Government of India is committed to ensure the Right of Privacy to all its citizens but at the same time it is also the responsibility of the government to maintain law and order and ensure national security," said IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
The Hindu report Deccan Herald report
The deadline to comply with the new legal rules meant for Twitter, Facebook and others, which were issued by the government three months ago ended on Tuesday.Also in contention is Whatsapp medssage to its users in India asking them to accept new privacy settings that are affected when they communicate with Whatsapp's business customers.
Some industry views:
Sahil Chopra, Founder & CEO- iCubesWire: “In today’s world, everything we do on internet is traceable and trackable up to a major extent. I personally feel that the government is fair in asking for these guidelines and all these American giants should comply with them. Ideally, India should have gone the China way long ago, and built their own search, social and conversation engines, much for their own massive revenues, growth and control.”
Raj Ramachandran, Partner, J Sagar Associates: “The implementation of the new terms has not been deferred, as submitted to the court. That said, even if users have not accepted the revised policy, their accounts are not proposed to be deleted immediately. Considering the entrenched use of the app and particularly given the current pandemic, unlikely that there will be any significant shift. However the users’ concern being of the unknown, given the confusion surrounding the revised policy, may lead them to choose additional apps to stay connected.”