Facebook Inc on Tuesday won a ruling from a Brazilian federal appeals court, of cutting down amount of fine imposed on it for not providing the details of WhatsApp messages required by a court investigating a drug-trafficking case.
The Brazilian federal appeals court made ruling on the basis of findings that the previous fine of around 2.035 billion reais ($528 million) imposed on the company in 2017 was deemed disproportionate and reduced it to 23 million reais ($6 million).
Welcoming the appeal court decision, a WhatsApp spokesperson in a statement to Reuters, said that the privacy of the users is the utmost priority for the company and the court’s decision also acknowledged the importance and validated the end-to-end encryption of messages within Brazil. This decision of Parana court will be playing a vital role at large towards the protecting the rights of Brazilian people and to have them enjoying safe and private conversation experience while online.
In recent years, the social media giant, which is the world’s largest, has to face legal battles in Brazilian grounds. In a 2016 incident considered as “an extreme and uneven measure” by the company, one of Facebook’s senior executive was retained in custody of Brazilian law enforcement agencies for 24 hours as a result of a dispute arise out of the demand made by a court from the company to provide data from its WhatsApp service.
The messaging service of WhatsApp also become the target during the bitterly fought presidential elections last years after a report in newspaper Folha de S.Paulo claimed that mega campaign through WhatsApp messages was launched and funded by the supporters of Jair Bolsonaro, a far right presidential candidate who won the elections eventually, against the Fernando Haddad, a leftist contestant.
In the country like Brazil having a population of nearly 210 million, WhatsApp has been retaining over 120 million users stick to its service, using it as medium to keep in touch with their families, friends, colleagues and also to get the political information.