Thursday, 21 October 2021

WhatsApp takes Indian govt to court over new digital rules

CALIFORNIA – Headquartered WhatsApp has taken the Indian government to court over the country’s new digital rules that make it mandatory for all instant messaging apps to trace the origin of all chats sent on their platforms.

Interestingly, in January this year, the Indian government asked the instant messaging app to withdraw its new policy on information sharing with parent firm Facebook.

In its petition filed in the Delhi High Court, WhatsApp has claimed that the new digital rules are not only against the company’s data-protection policy but also undermine people’s right to privacy. India is WhatsApp’s biggest market.

The Facebook-owned instant messaging app has also urged the court to scrap the new rules as ‘a violation of privacy under the Constitution of India’.

‘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,’ it said.

‘We have consistently joined civil society and experts around the world in opposing requirements that would violate the privacy of our users,’ the social media app said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

‘In the meantime, we will also continue to engage with the government of India on practical solutions aimed at keeping people safe, including responding to valid legal requests for the information available to us,’ a spokesperson for WhatsApp said.

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