India’s government on Wednesday said in which This particular wants WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned instant messenger, to provide This particular with the location in addition to identity of people who send messages in which lead to real-world violence. This particular’s the latest back in addition to forth between the parties about the platform providing information about its users to officials while also trying to maintain their privacy.
WhatsApp has been the under fire in India, its largest market with more than 0 million active users, after violent mobs fueled by rumors spread through the app lynched nearly 30 people in various parts of the country within the last few months. within the wake of the lynchings, WhatsApp has been tussling with the Indian government in which has, among various other things, demanded in which the company build a way to trace messages sent over This particular. WhatsApp has refused to do This particular saying in which This particular might compromise the privacy of its users (everything sent over WhatsApp is actually encrypted).
WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniels met with India’s This particular Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in brand new Delhi on Wednesday. “On the issue of traceability, I emphasized in which when we talk of traceability, we don’t talk of decrypting messages,” Prasad said after the meeting according to Indian news wire services. “We insist rather on location in addition to identification of the sender of WhatsApp messages when such messages lead to provocation of violence, heinous offenses in addition to various other serious crimes.”
According to WhatsApp terms of service, the company does collect users’ IP addresses, which can be used to track users’ locations in addition to their phone numbers. This particular isn’t information in which is actually encrypted. The only thing in which is actually encrypted is actually the actual content of messages sent through WhatsApp.
In a statement provided to BuzzFeed News, a WhatsApp spokesperson said: “We appreciate the opportunity to meet with government leaders, including Minister Prasad who confirmed his support for encryption in addition to the privacy of our users. WhatsApp is actually deeply committed to serving the people of India in addition to working closely with civil society in addition to government leaders to help address abuse on our platform. Our brand new Head of WhatsApp India, who will be named by the end of the year, will build a local team in which can serve our customers in India as well as work with partners in addition to government leaders to help keep people safe.”
WhatsApp has taken number of steps to reduce the spread of misinformation on its platform in India. In July, This particular restricted the number of groups or people people in India could forward messages to a few. This particular also brought out full-page ads in several Indian newspapers in various languages in addition to ran radio spots as part of a campaign to educate users against falling for misinformation on its platform.
in addition to last month, This particular hired a “grievance officer” in its California headquarters to handle complaints through users in India — something in which both India’s government in addition to Supreme Court had long demanded of This particular.