Most social media giants comply with government's new IT rules: Reports
Sources said that significant social media intermediaries like Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, Koo, Telegram and Sharechat have shared details of their Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Person and Grievance Officer.
Most major social media intermediaries, barring Twitter, have reportedly shared their compliance status with regard to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology's new IT Rules.
Media reports cited government sources as saying that significant social media intermediaries like Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, Koo, Telegram and Sharechat have shared details of their Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Person and Grievance Officer as required in the new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
WhatsApp has appointed Hyderabad-based Ashish Chandra as the grievance officer. The platform states that the Grievance Officer addresses questions related to WhatsApp and WhatsApp India Payments' terms of service and queries related to the account.
However, WhatsApp advised against using the Grievance Officer channel for any law enforcement requests or against serving any legal process. Law enforcement requests still need to be sent to the company's Law Enforcement Response Team in California.
Instagram names Spoorthi Priya as its grievance officer in India (who could be reached as FBGOIndia@fb.com) and lists an Okhla-based address for postal communication. However, Instagram, like WhatsApp, also said that no law enforcement requests or legal processes must be diverted to the Grievance Officer.
After the rap from the Centre, Twitter informed the IT ministry of naming Bengaluru-based advocate Dharmendra Chatur as its grievance officer. However, the government reminded the micro-blogging site that its grievance officer needs to be an employee of the company and resident of India.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai, meanwhile, has said that his firm respects the local laws and complies with government requests.
"We always respect local laws in every country we operate in and we work constructively. We have clear transparency reports, when we comply with government requests, we highlight that in our transparency reports," Sundar Pichai said.
"We fully expect governments rightfully to both scrutinise and adopt regulatory frameworks. Be it Europe with copyright directive or India with information regulation etc, we see it as a natural part of societies figuring out how to govern and adapt themselves in this technology-intensive world," he added.
The new IT rules that came into force on May 26 warrants a 'significant social media intermediary' (SSMI) to appoint a chief compliance officer, a resident grievance officer and a nodal contact person for round-the-clock coordination with law enforcement agencies. The new rules identify an SSMI as a social media firm with over 50 lakh users in India.