New Delhi: Amid heated controversy over the WhatsApp Privacy police and IT Intermediary Rules 2021, the Facebook-owned messaging app has filed a lawsuit against the Indian government in the Delhi High Court. WhatsApp has challenged the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 saying that user privacy is in its DNA and requiring messaging apps to “trace” chats undermines people’s right to privacy.

As quoted by news agency IANS, a spokesperson for the world’s largest messaging app said that requiring messaging apps to “trace” chats is the equivalent of asking us to keep a fingerprint of every single message sent on WhatsApp.

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“It would break end-to-end encryption and fundamentally undermines 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,” the spokesperson said.

The messaging platform has reportedly argued that the provision is unconstitutional and against people’s fundamental right to privacy. WhatsApp said that new rules infringe on users’ privacy.

The MeitY earlier this year announced its draft new IT (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules for social media platforms. The new rules mandate that the intermediaries, including social media intermediaries, must establish a grievance redressal mechanism for receiving/resolving complaints from the users or victims. May 25 was the last date for the intermediaries to comply with the new Rules of 2021.

On the user privacy policy, the Facebook-owned platform with over 400 million users in the country has defended its position, saying that it continues to engage with the government to resolve the issue.

 



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