WhatsApp, Facebook’s chat service, has filed a lawsuit in the Delhi Supreme Court over new privacy laws. According to WhatsApp, it infringes the rights of its users.
The case exacerbates the already tense relationship between Silicon Valley companies and the country’s government with hundreds of millions of users.
The Indian government wants WhatsApp to provide access to secure messages. Indian policy requires messaging apps to disclose the identity of the senders of illegal messages. This forces WhatsApp to decrypt the messages, compromising users’ privacy.
According to the WhatsApp spokesperson, this is the equivalent of “asking to keep a fingerprint of every message sent”. And with that, WhatsApp would undermine users’ privacy, the company said.
WhatsApp has more than half a billion users in India. The spokesman for the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of the Government of India was unavailable for comment.