No compromise with privacy! WhatsApp may oppose demand to track the messages

NewsBharati    27-Mar-2019



New Delhi, Mar 27: In the light of coming elections, EC and government are taking some serious steps for limiting fack and provocative messages, but WhatsApp will oppose the suggested rules that would require it to disclose information about where the message originated from as this will disrupt privacy and free speech rights of users.

The government wants to crash down the fack and inflammatory posts that have sparked violence which includes lynching, across the nation. Intermediary guidelines that are set to be announced after elections will probably include penalties and jail terms for .. for executives of social media companies and messaging apps for non-compliance on matters such as message traceability.

As per the statement by the company, WhatsApp feels the proposed guidelines are too broad and not in sync with privacy protection norms that are important to people everywhere that is expected from the rules is just not possible considering the end-to-end encryption the company provides, it would mean a new product.

The Facebook-owned app feels confidentiality is a critical element of the product.

“The company will continue to push back against government’s attempts that it feels weaken its end-to-end encryption feature,” said official.

According to company sources, “The product is designed so as to deliberately not collect records of users messaging on the system, “Changing or altering this in any manner would have global ramifications.”

Government officials disagree with this and have drawn parallels with phone companies which are obliged to provide call detail records to law enforcement agencies when asked.

WhatsApp has defended its stance on privacy previously.

“But this would mean keeping records of, and having access to, personal data of users at all times, even when a crime has not been committed,” company stated.

“People rely on WhatsApp for all kinds of sensitive conversations, including with their doctors, banks, and families. The police also use WhatsApp to discuss investigations and report crimes,” the company had said last week. “Attributing messages on WhatsApp would undermine end-to-end encryption and the private nature of WhatsApp, creating the potential for serious misuse. Our focus is on improving WhatsApp and working closely with others in society to help keep people safe

The company had also pointed out that it has made significant product changes and worked with civil society partners to address misinformation through public education campaigns, apart from changes such as limiting the number of forwards and allowing group exit in one tap.