WhatsApp goes to court over India privacy rules

WhatsApp is suing the Indian government over new digital rules that will force the messaging service to violate privacy protections.

It said rules that require tracing the origin of chats were the equivalent of keeping a “fingerprint of every single message sent on the service”.

In February, the government introduced new guidelines to regulate content on social media and streaming platforms.

India is WhatsApp’s largest market with about 400 million users.

The government’s rules for social media said that messaging platforms would need to make provisions for the “identification of the first originator of the information”.

WhatsApp filed a plea in the high court in Delhi asking it to declare the new rule unconstitutional.

In a statement, a WhatsApp spokesperson said that the rules “would break end-to-end encryption and fundamentally undermine people’s right to privacy”.

“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,” said WhatsApp.

According to WhatsApp, traceability of texts would force private companies to collect and store billions of messages sent each day for the sole purpose of turning it over to law enforcement agencies.



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