The Centre on Friday told the Delhi High Court that WhatsApp and Facebook, “which monetise users’ personal information” for commercial purposes, are not legally entitled to claim that they protect privacy. It also said that WhatsApp needs to create a mechanism to identify an unlawful information’s origin and originator without compromising end-to-end encryption.
The Government was responding to WhatsApp’s petition challenging the 2021 IT Rules’ requirement of enabling traceability of online messages. It said the petition is not maintainable as the company is a foreign entity and cannot claim rights under Article 21, including the right to privacy.
“The IT Rules are framed on the basis of numerous parliamentary and judiciary recommendations which seek to protect the users against child sexual abuse material, fake news and other harmful online content which was considered to be beyond the bounds of free speech,” the Ministry of Electronics & IT said.