The Indian government, on Wednesday, said it respects the right to privacy of its citizens but may need to know the identity of a WhatsApp user for prevention, investigation, or punishment of serious offences. The statement comes within hours of the messaging app filing a case against the Indian government saying the new IT rules violated the right to privacy set in the Constitution.

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According to Reuters, the lawsuit filed by Whatsapp pleads Delhi High Court to declare one of the new social media rules a violation of the Right to Privacy granted by India’s constitution as it requires social media companies to identify the “first originator of a message or information” as per authorities demand.

The ministry also added that any operation being run by the government in the country are subject to the law of the land and WhatsApp’s refusal to comply with the new IT guidelines is a clear act of defiance of a measure whose intent can certainly not be doubted.

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The Centre also slammed WhatsApp by saying that the company contradicts its own beliefs as at one point it seeks to mandate a privacy policy wherein it will share data of all its user with its parent company, Facebook while on other hand, it makes every effort to refuse enactment of intermediary guidelines necessary to uphold law and order.

The new IT rules that come into effect from May 26 will require social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram among others – to follow additional due diligence, including the appointment of a chief compliance officer, nodal contact person, and resident grievance officer.