comscore We may cease to exist in India if new regulations kick in: WhatsApp
News

We may cease to exist in India if new regulations kick in: WhatsApp

The end-to-end encryption feature makes it difficult for law enforcement authorities to find out the culprit behind a misinformation campaign.

  • Published: February 7, 2019 10:20 AM IST
WhatsApp

Some of the proposed government regulations for social media companies operating in India are threatening the very existence of WhatsApp in its current form, a top company executive said here on Wednesday. With over 200 million monthly active users, India is WhatsApp’s biggest market in the world. Globally, the platform has over 1.5 billion users. Also Read - How to find archived WhatsApp chats on Android

“Of the proposed regulations, the one which concerns us the most is the emphasis on traceability of messages,” Carl Woog, WhatsApp’s Head of Communications, told IANS on the sidelines of a media workshop. Also Read - WhatsApp iOS to Android chat history migration now available on Pixel, Android 12 devices

Facebook-owned WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption by default which means only the sender and the recipient can see the messages in circulation – not even WhatsApp. Without this feature, Woog explained, WhatsApp will be a completely new product. Also Read - If WhatsApp chats are end-to-end encrypted, how celebs are getting in the soup?

“The proposed changes are going overboard and are not consistent with strong privacy protections that people around the world are seeking,” said Woog, who served as the Spokesperson for the Barack Obama administration in the US.

“Given the end-to-end encryption we have in place, the regulations will require us to re-architect our product,” he said, adding that in such a scenario, the messaging service would cease to exist in its current form.

Without denying the possibility of quitting the India market in case the new regulations come into force, Woog told IANS: “It will not help to speculate what is to come. There is a process in place in India to discuss this issue”.

The end-to-end encryption feature makes it difficult for law enforcement authorities to find out the culprit behind a misinformation campaign. But the proposed IT Ministry regulations require social media platforms to follow a due diligence process to prevent the use of their services for spreading misinformation and provoking violence.

Facing flak from the government over dozens of lynching incidents in the country last year which were linked to rumours spread on WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging service introduced several new measures including limiting the number of messages that a user can forward to five and appointing for the first time a country head for the organization.

“We ban nearly two million suspicious accounts every month. While roughly 20 percent of these accounts are banned at the time of registration, over 70 percent of the spam accounts get banned without a recent user report,” Woog said.

“These efforts are particularly important during elections where certain groups may attempt to send messages at scale,” WhatsApp said. The accounts which are flagged by users by taking advantage of an in-app “report” feature are reviewed by a team of human workers. When someone reports an account, the WhatsApp team can see the last few messages in the chat.

WhatsApp said it was hiring more reviewers with competence in regional languages in India ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. Addressing one of the major demands from the government, WhatsApp said, “As part of establishing our operations in India, we have identified a Grievance Officer who can be contacted directly if a user has a concern about their WhatsApp experience and is unable to report it through other channels.”

Gokul Bhagabati – Writes for IANS

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel. Also follow us on  Facebook Messenger for latest updates.
  • Published Date: February 7, 2019 10:20 AM IST



new arrivals in india

Realme GT Neo 2
Realme GT Neo 2

31,999

Vivo X70 Pro Plus
Vivo X70 Pro Plus

84,990

Vivo X70 Pro
Vivo X70 Pro

51,990

Poco C31
Poco C31

10,999

Nokia C30
Nokia C30

12,499

Samsung Galaxy F42 5G
Samsung Galaxy F42 5G

17,999

Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G
Xiaomi 11 Lite NE 5G

31,999

Samsung Galaxy M52
Samsung Galaxy M52

29,999

Oppo F19S
Oppo F19S

19,990

IQOO Z5
IQOO Z5

29,990

Realme Narzo 50A
Realme Narzo 50A

11,499

Realme Narzo 50i
Realme Narzo 50i

7,499

Oppo A16
Oppo A16

16,990

Infinix Hot 11S
Infinix Hot 11S

13,999

Infinix Hot 11
Infinix Hot 11

11,999

Realme C25Y
Realme C25Y

11,999

Nokia C01 Plus
Nokia C01 Plus

6,999

Nokia G10
Nokia G10

13,999

Apple IPhone 13 Pro Max
Apple IPhone 13 Pro Max

1,29,900

Apple IPhone 13 Pro
Apple IPhone 13 Pro

1,19,900

Apple IPhone 13 Mini
Apple IPhone 13 Mini

69,900

Apple IPhone 13
Apple IPhone 13

79,900

Realme 8i
Realme 8i

13,999

Realme 8s 5G
Realme 8s 5G

17,999

Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime
Xiaomi Redmi 10 Prime

12,499

Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G

35,999

Samsung Galaxy M32 5G
Samsung Galaxy M32 5G

20,999

Vivo Y33s
Vivo Y33s

17,990

Realme C21Y
Realme C21Y

8,999

Vivo Y21
Vivo Y21

15,490

Realme GT Master Edition
Realme GT Master Edition

25,999

Realme GT 5G
Realme GT 5G

37,999

Itel A48
Itel A48

6,399

Motorola Edge 20
Motorola Edge 20

29,999

Motorola Edge 20 Fusion
Motorola Edge 20 Fusion

21,499

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

84,999

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

1,49,999

Samsung Galaxy A12 (Exynos)
Samsung Galaxy A12 (Exynos)

13,999

Nokia C20 Plus
Nokia C20 Plus

8,999

Vivo Y53s
Vivo Y53s

19,490

Tecno Pova 2
Tecno Pova 2

10,999

Infinix Smart 5A
Infinix Smart 5A

6,499

Micromax In 2b
Micromax In 2b

8,999

Vivo Y72 5G
Vivo Y72 5G

20,990

Tecno Camon 17
Tecno Camon 17

12,999

Tecno Camon 17 Pro
Tecno Camon 17 Pro

16,999

Realme C11 2021
Realme C11 2021

6,999

Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G

39,990

Oppo Reno6 5G
Oppo Reno6 5G

29,990

Samsung Galaxy M21 2021
Samsung Galaxy M21 2021

12,499

OnePlus Nord 2
OnePlus Nord 2

27,999

Poco F3 GT
Poco F3 GT

27,999

Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
Samsung Galaxy A22 5G

19,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10T 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F22
Samsung Galaxy F22

12,499

Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite

21,999

Infinix Note 10 Pro
Infinix Note 10 Pro

16,999

Infinix Note 10
Infinix Note 10

10,999

Vivo Y73
Vivo Y73

20,990

OnePlus Nord CE 5G
OnePlus Nord CE 5G

22,999

iQOO Z3
iQOO Z3

19,990

Realme C25s
Realme C25s

9,999

Poco M3 Pro 5G
Poco M3 Pro 5G

13,999

Realme X7 Max 5G
Realme X7 Max 5G

26,999

Oppo F19
Oppo F19

18,990

Motorola Moto G40 Fusion
Motorola Moto G40 Fusion

13,999

POCO M2 Reloaded
POCO M2 Reloaded

9,499

OPPO A74 5G
OPPO A74 5G

17,990

Oppo A53s 5G
Oppo A53s 5G

14,990

Vivo V21 5G
Vivo V21 5G

29,990

Realme C25
Realme C25

9,499

Realme C21
Realme C21

7,999

Realme C20
Realme C20

6,799

Motorola Moto G60
Motorola Moto G60

17,999

iQOO 7
iQOO 7

31,990

Samsung Galaxy M42 5G
Samsung Galaxy M42 5G

21,999

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra
Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

69,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G
Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro 5G

39,999

Xiaomi Mi 11X
Xiaomi Mi 11X

29,999

Realme 8 5G
Realme 8 5G

13,999

Samsung Galaxy F02s
Samsung Galaxy F02s

8,999

Samsung Galaxy F12
Samsung Galaxy F12

10,999

POCO X3 Pro
POCO X3 Pro

18,999

Realme 8 Pro
Realme 8 Pro

17,999

Realme 8
Realme 8

14,999

Vivo X60 Pro Plus
Vivo X60 Pro Plus

69,990

Vivo X60 Pro
Vivo X60 Pro

49,990

Best Sellers