WhatsApp has moved the Delhi high court against the new guidelines that require digital media companies to disclose the identity of the first originator of messages, citing the right to privacy.
‘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. a WhatsApp spokesperson said.
‘We have consistently joined civil society and experts around the world in opposing requirements that would violate the privacy of our users.
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.
WhatsApp has opposed moves that violate its end to-end encryption. A similar case of the company is pending in the Supreme Court of Brazil.
The guidelines were notified on February 25 and gave digital media companies three months to implement new content moderation mechanisms, appoint new officers, who will be liable for compliance, and adopt features such as traceability of messages and voluntary user verification.
Facebook on Tuesday said it was working on the new rules but indicated there were unresolved issues. We aim to comply with the provisions of the IT [Information Technology] rules and continue to discuss a few of the issues which need more engagement with the government. Pursuant to the IT Rules, we are working to implement operational processes and improve efficiencies, a Facebook spokesperson said.
On Monday, electronics and information technology ministry officials warned of stern action if the companies did not adhere to the deadline.