Face-Off Between WhatsApp And Government Over ‘Traceability & Privacy’

WhatsApp is against the new IT rules formulated by the Indian Government that says “Trace the Originator of the Messages.” It’s unconstitutional and ends the people’s privacy, said the company’s spokesperson.

On the other hand, if it truly breaches the user’s privacy then why social media apps like Koo have complied with the rules.

There is so much ambiguity in the new social media laws. Moreover, the interest of the Government and social media companies have put the ‘Right to Privacy’ under question.

Understanding the new IT rules 2021 is thus very important for users as well. Here is what you as a user need to know about the entire matter between WhatsApp and Government.

Traceability: A Big Issue For Whatsapp Users, Here’s Why?

new IT rules

According to the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code 2021, all the social media operators in India should have a mechanism to identify the problematic content. In addition to this, they should also have a proper platform to address such issues in case a user raises any objection.

This is beneficial for the users as there is no such grievance redressal system. The other side, however, is the problem for companies and users as well.

Section 69 of the IT Act says “if any court or a competent authority asks for the origin of the content then social media companies will have to release the information.”

Also Read: We Must Protect Users’ Privacy: Supreme Court Issues Notice To Whatsapp And Centre

End Of Whatsapp’s End-to-End Encryption


The companies like WhatsApp follow end-to-end encryption to keep the communication between two parties safe. No third party or even WhatsApp can read those messages as per the privacy policy of WhatsApp.

Of course, the end-to-end encryption technology is beneficial for users but keeping its misuse in mind, the Government came up with such rules.

On the other hand, if companies follow the new IT rules then they have to increase their storage capacity to keep track of billions of messages. Around 390 billion Indians use Whatsapp so definitely it is going to be complicated for the company.

Also Read: Secure Messaging Apps 2021: Messaging Apps That Offer End-To-End Encryption

Violation Of Fundamental Rights


Legal experts are supporting social media giants calling the new rules against the ‘Right to Privacy.’ The Software Freedom Law Centre founder says, “Government is exceeding the powers in the name of addressing misinformation” as quoted by The Hindu.

WhatsApp is doing everything that a social media platform should do to protect its user’s privacy. Such rules are just a way to gain more power on the platforms and use it for their political purposes.

Keeping this in mind, the company has filed a legal petition in the Delhi High Court challenging the new IT rules 2021. A similar petition was previously filed in the Kerala High Court too. In the petition, the company is demanding to block the new regulations regarding the traceability of the users.

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