Social media giant Facebook’s regional vice-president in São Paulo has been arrested by the Brazilian police for not providing WhatsApp data requested by a criminal investigation. The latest clash between Facebook and Brazilian law enforcement authorities is a result of an order from the court which was released a for more than a month to provide messages relating to a suspected drug-trafficking ring.
Diego Dzodan was failed to comply with the order and therefore was taken into custody at Garulhos airport on Tuesday. According to the report, the court first imposed a daily fine on the social media company of 50,000 reais (£9,000), then a daily penalty of 1m reais (£180,000), and finally ordered the arrest.
Notably, Facebook acquired the leading messaging service WhatsApp in 2014, but it continued to operate independently, so Facebook is saying Dzodan should not be held responsible in this case. “Facebook has always been and will be available to address any questions Brazilian authorities may have,” a company spokesman said.
Further, citing the reason for not providing the data, the US company said that the court is requesting the information which it does not have because WhatsApp messaging service does not store content, which is encrypted by users at either end.
“We are disappointed with the extreme and disproportionate measure of having a Facebook executive escorted to a police station in connection with case involving WhatsApp, which operates separately from Facebook,” a person said involved in the development.