India Government has asked WhatsApp to add a feature called “digitally fingerprint” in their application. Because of the spread of fake news and misinformation on WhatsApp in India. From the recent past, These kinds of news & pieces of information have been the biggest concerns for the government. This platform is trendy not only among the Indians but also across the world. But in India, it is commonly used by the Indians. And this makes it easier for miscreants to about it. WhatsApp messages inciting hatred amount the people have caused incidents of riots and lynching across India.
Due to WhatsApp messages end to end (E2E) encryption makes it harder for law enforcement agencies to find the source of the message and identify the real offenders.
Now the Government of India has asked the WhatsApp to introduce a feature called ‘digital fingerprint’ to track the source of messages without removing end to end encryption. So that helps to track who sent a particular message first on WhatsApp.
This feature will help the government to identify the original sender of a message, how many people have seen it, forwarded it and others as government want. They don’t want WhatsApp to remove the end to end encryption to keep the privacy of each person using WhatsApp and so to look for this digital fingerprint feature without breaking E2E encryption because the government don’t want to read WhatsApp chats or know the content of a particular message.
As per the government, apart from the police and related law enforcement agencies will have access to the content. At this time, the agencies rely on metadata information like group member names, phone number, profile picture, time of chats, duration of conversations, location, IP addresses, contacts and others. This metadata information is not enough to track culprits, and some time takes lots of time to reach such culprits. And sometimes unable to control to damages because of such hate messages float very quickly and sometimes got viral. Putting curfew in the affected area and shut down internet service could be the limited solutions in the present IT revolution era.
Experts say that the implementation of this feature on WhatsApp will be the biggest challenge for Facebook because It needs to restructure the entire architecture of WhatsApp.
Digital Fingerprint feature on every WhatsApp message is very difficult, and the ability to track WhatsApp messages undermine end to end encryption and enhance the risk of government surveillance claims WhatsApp
India is not the single country who is demanding such kind of feature in WhatsApp application. But other countries like the United Kingdom (UK), Australia, Germany and some other countries of the world have demanded to have the messages tracking.
Australia Lawmakers have recently introduced a law that allows government law enforcement agencies to get pass encryption. Singapore has new law allows police to monitor private chat groups
Countries like India where the crime rate is very hight and literacy are a bit lower, without such features WhatsApp is creating more problem to stop such atrocity or violence