The government’s rules to stop fake information from spreading may seriously affect WhatsApp’s user privacy, which indeed threatens the messaging platforms’s very existence. WhatsApp, which has over 200 million monthly active users in India, has been asked to come up with a technology that can trace the origin of fake messages.
According to WhatsApp’s communication head Carl Woog, it means a complete re-architect of the product. “Some of the proposed government regulations for social media companies operating in India are threatening the very existence of WhatsApp in its current form,” Woog said.
WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption which means only the sender and the recipient can see the messages and not even WhatsApp. This feature makes it difficult for law enforcement authorities to find out the culprit behind a misinformation campaign.
“Without this feature, WhatsApp will be a completely new product,” Woog reportedly said. According to Woog, proposed changes are not consistent with strong privacy protections that people around the world are seeking.
According to Woog, WhatsApp bans nearly 2 billion suspicious accounts every month. Of which, 20% are banned at the time of registration. Users can also ‘report’ the accounts of the users which are reviewed by a WhatsApp team.