New Delhi (Sputnik) — WhatsApp has rejected India's demand for a solution to track the origin of messages on its platform, citing privacy concerns. Even as the government of India repeatedly flagged concerns over the unchecked circulation of information leading to rumors and hate-mongering, triggering concerns of social unrest, the Facebook-owned smartphone messaging application has argued that building traceability would undermine the company's privacy protection policy.
"Building traceability would undermine end-to-end encryption and the private nature of WhatsApp, creating the potential for serious misuse. WhatsApp will not weaken the privacy protections we provide," WhatsApp spokesperson told the Press Trust of India (PTI).
Following the meeting, Prasad had told reporters that the government had asked WhatsApp to set up a local corporate entity and find a technological solution to trace the origin of fake messages circulated through its platform as well as appoint a grievance officer for combating and reporting instances of violation.
I further asked CEO of Whtaspp, Chris Daniels to work closely with law enforcement agencies of India and create public awareness campaign to prevent misuse of Whatsapp. He assured me that #Whatsapp will undertake these initiatives.— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) August 21, 2018
While acknowledging the role played by the messaging application in India's digital story, the minister was categorical in announcing that WhatsApp could face abetment charges if it did not take action to tackle the issue of fake news being circulated on its platform.