Facebook exec arrested as government want private data access
The tussle between tech firms and governments continues this week. While the American government are locking horns with Apple over getting access to everyone's devices, over in Brazil, a senior Facebook executive has been arrested after the social network refused to provide private info about users to the police.
Diego Drozdan, who is Facebook’s vice president for Latin America, was arrested and accused of ignoring a judicial order, concerning an investigation about drug trafficking and organised crime. It concerns, specifically, the WhatsApp messenger app, and FB refused to give authorities a way in through encryption.
Facebook said in a statement that the two companies operate independently "so the decision to arrest an employee from another company is an extreme and unwarranted step".
In their own statement, WhatsApp said that they'd "cooperated as much as we could given the architecture of our service," and that the company was "unable to provide information we do not have".
Police spokesperson Monica Horta, disagreed, and said that the arrest was made because neither Facebook or WhatsApp responded to the request for information which was issued four months ago. Facebook were also fined $12,700 for every day it ignored the order, which has recently risen to $250,000 daily over February.
Of course, WhatsApp have said quite clearly in various reports, that the strength of encryption is to protect their users, their security and information.
Authorities going toe-to-toe is going to be one of the biggest stories of 2016, so definitely one to keep an eye on.