“Right to privacy not absolute”: Centre after WhatsApp challenges social media rules

The Centre on Wednesday said that no fundamental right, including the right to privacy, is absolute and is subject to reasonable restrictions.

The statement came in response to WhatsApp challenging in the Delhi High Court a provision under India’s new social media rules, which mandates that the company identify the “first originator of information” when authorities demand it.

The tech giant WhatsApp argued that the provision was unconstitutional and against people’s fundamental right to privacy.

Centre said it was committed to ensure the right to privacy to all. “But at the same time it is also the responsibility of the government to maintain law and order and ensure national security,” NDTV quoted Union Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad as saying.

According to him, “WhatsApp was required to reveal the origin of a particular message only for prevention, investigation or punishment of serious offences such as sexually explicit content.”