Brazilian police arrested the vice president of Facebook for Latin America on Tuesday after the social media giant refused access to data the authorities said was important to a criminal probe.
Diego Dzodan was in detention in Sao Paulo after his arrest following "repeated non-compliance with court orders" to share Facebook data requested in a drug trafficking case, federal police said.
"This information was required to produce evidence to be used in an organized crime and drug trafficking investigation," the police statement said. The probe, police said, is being conducted in-camera, meaning that it is held in court, but in secret, with no public allowed.
Brazilian media reported that the authorities are specifically targeting Facebook's popular mobile phone chat tool, WhatsApp.
Four months ago, a judge asked for the names of two users of a WhatsApp account where information about narcotics was being exchanged, and Facebook refused, incurring daily fines, O Globo website reported.