Q: How do you respond to concerns over changes to WhatsApp’s terms of service?
Q: But WhatsApp is doing this itself. Why not just have the company simply delete the messages?
A: We’re trying to find a better solution here where everybody is able to keep their information private. So we think that asking people to be able to delete it themselves makes a lot more sense than us having the ability to do it by ourselves.
Q: What happens if there’s a government order that compels your company to do something you don’t want to do?
A: It’s very unfortunate, but we are going to follow the law. So we’ll continue to respect the processes of law enforcement and that means that even if the government says ‘you must turn over information about a particular WhatsApp user’ that we won’t do so. We’re going to respect their jurisdiction and their laws. And it’s unfortunate, but this is how the law is for now.
Q: What if the government says ‘Hey, this is really important and we’re going to come over with a whole team of policemen if you don’t give us information.’ What happens then?
A: So that’s really unfortunate, but we’ll still follow the law. We’ll send them a request for more information about what it is that they want and we’ll follow their processes for how they want to handle it. We can’t do anything about other people breaking the law except obey our own laws.
Q: When you say ‘other people,’ for example, what about WhatsApp employees?
A: Nobody who works for WhatsApp is empowered to do anything that would violate the law to give information about a particular user. If there’s a government official who says ‘we have a court order,’ we’ll tell them that and ask them for more details. We will not hand over any user information until we’re satisfied that we understand fully what it is that they’re asking for and we are allowed to provide it.
Q: What if you do receive such an order?
A: We don’t know, we can only report to the government when we receive the order and then respond to that later. So it’s not a one-way street. We’re giving them information about this person, but if there’s going to be side effects from that, we’ll have to get more information from them before we can comply.