The Indian government may be planning to introduce new rules that will require services such as WhatsApp, Gmail and Snapchat to retain user information. According to a report by the Economic Times, the Government of India is planning to draft rules under Section 67C of the Information Technology Act. The new rules will let technology companies know the type of data that has to be stored, including the format and length of time it needs to be stored for. The aim of the act is to assist law enforcement agencies in accessing information, should it be required.
The report notes that the committee behind the new draft consists of three members. One of the members told the publication, “This is a fairly complex issue, compounded by the general lack of understanding of mobile apps and over the top service providers.”
If this ruling passes, the services will most likely challenge it as most aren’t governed by Indian laws, and data retention will cost a lot of money. Further, services such as WhatsApp may find it the hardest to follow such a ruling, as they offer end-to-end encryption to users.