India Asks WhatsApp To Digitally Fingerprint Every Message For Traceability
WhatsApp Messenger, owned by the American social media giant Facebook is one of the most popular messaging services in the world. And the largest market for the application in India, with over 200 million active users in the country. Lately, the platform has been plagued with malicious activities, some of which are criminal in nature. To counter that, the Indian government has asked WhatsApp to digitally fingerprint every message sent on the app for easy traceability.
About the move
A report claims that WhatsApp has been asked by the Indian government to make it easy to trace the origins of a message on its platform. This may be achieved by placing a digital fingerprint of the sender on the message. Notably, the messaging app boasts of a secure, end to end encryption on its platform since the year 2016. This according to the company, does not let even its employees view what has been sent or received on its platform. Two government officials have said that it should be able to identify where a message has originated and how many people have interacted with it; that is either have read it or have forwarded it. Interestingly, this is not the first time demand from the Indian government similar to the one mentioned above has been shared with WhatsApp.
While the Indian government has claimed the request to trace the messages on WhatsApp will be limited; it goes against the company’s privacy policies. The company claims it cannot go forward with the demands as it would change the architecture of the product and make it a different application altogether. So, the introduction of a digital fingerprint to track the origins of a message on WhatsApp might be seen as a breach of privacy.