One Justice in India named S. Manikumar said that doing so would violate a Supreme Court ruling in the country which says that IDs can only be used for government welfare operations.
The ruling was a response to a couple of public interest litigations (PIL) that were filed in 2018. They looked for “linking of Aadhaar or any one of the government-authorized identity proof as mandatory for the purpose of authentication while obtaining any email or user account.”
The country’s high court expanded the case to look into how WhatsApp can trace message originators, and how it can spread misinformation. WhatsApp has repeatedly said that it can’t trace messages without breaking encryption, and if it did so then the privacy of its users would be put into question.
There will be another hearing on the 19 of September.
“We have received the data localization compliance system audit report from WhatsApp, which shall be reviewed in the next few weeks,” a Mumbai-based representative for NCPI said.
The review will determine if and when WhatsApp can enter the country’s crowded digital market, where it will compete with more than 80 rivals on the NPCI platform, including Google and Amazon. India’s digital payments market is expected to hit $1 trillion by 2023, according to a report by Credit Suisse Group AG.
Since Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed in April that WhatsApp Pay is coming to India, the marketplace has been bracing for the latest entrance. In India, WhatsApp has more than 300 million users, while Facebook brings an additional 300 million Indian customers. In fact, it’s been reported that once its service is up and running, it will easily surpass Paytm, which has more than 230 million users in India.