WhatsApp-Indian govt faceoff may intensify

WhatsApp dark mode
(Image credit: Oasisamuel / Shutterstock)

Ever since WhatsApp tweaked its privacy policy features, there has been a huge hue and cry against its plans. Especially in India, where WhatsApp and its Facebook have been dragged to the courts by the government itself even while the country's fair trade regulator has started an independent probe against the messaging platform's new privacy policy proposals.

At the core, the bone of contention is WhatsApp's insistence on end-to-end encryption. 

On the one hand, the Indian government wants it to help trace the source of problematic/fake forwards on the platform. But WhatsApp is loath to break its end-to-end encryption rule. 

Amidst this standoff, Facebook seems to be pushing ahead with its plan to implement full end-to-end encryption by default within all of its messaging tools.

Facebook has said: "We’re also working hard to bring default end-to-end encryption to all of our messaging services. This will protect people’s private messages and mean only the sender and recipient, not even us, can access their messages."

While Facebook's announcement did not take the name of WhatsApp specifically, but it is generally believed that Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, also included the messaging platform in its scheme of things.

Now, with such an open stand, it is not clear how Facebook will mend fences with the Indian government, which sees a double standard in the company's approach. The Indian authorities are cut up by the fact that WhatsApp's new privacy policy change allows it to share user details with its parent company, but wouldn't budge in the case of a government request for tracing the source some fake or problematic forward.

WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart had earlier said that his company has explained its concerns around traceability to the Indian government and will continue doing so in the hope of finding solutions "that don’t touch encryption."

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Balakumar K
Senior Editor

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.