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WhatsApp assures India on 'prompt action' over traceability of messages

Popular chat app Whatsapp has assured action on the issue of message traceability, an issue on its platform that has been a thorny one between India and WhatsApp for over a year now, as the messaging platform faces pressure from India to bring in the traceability of fake message originators.

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In        Last Updated: July 27, 2019  | 16:11 IST
WhatsApp assures India on 'prompt action' over traceability of messages
IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad with Whatsapp Global Head Will Cathcart during a meeting in Sanchar Bhavan, New Delhi on Friday, July 6, 2019. Photo Credit: PTI

Popular chat app Whatsapp has assured action on the issue of message traceability, an issue on its platform that has been a thorny one between India and WhatsApp for over a year now, as the messaging platform faces pressure from India to bring in the traceability of fake message originators.

Law & Justice, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who met with Will Cathcart, WhatsApp's new Global Head on Friday, firstly flagged concern regarding traceability of messages and urged on  developing a mechanism to trace the origin of messages when the app is found to be abused by terrorists and extremists.

Ravi Shankar Prasad quoted, "On the issue of traceability, I have conveyed to them traceability shall be their job. A mechanism should be developed by them where any terrorists and extremist elements could be traced to enforce law and order, safety and security of the country," and added that the request for that will also come from appropriately high level so that there is no tinkering in-between.

Secondly, Prasad asserted on the appointment of a grievance officer with the company amidst all seriousness in India, which is already WhatsApp's largest market.

WhatsApp Global Head Will Cathcart, who was on his maiden visit to India, amidst agreeing to cooperate with India's law enforcement agencies, reiterated its support for encryption and stressed the importance of encryption for the popular messaging app, which has some 400 million users in India.

Post the meeting with the IT minister, Cathcart added that the company is focussed on making changes to its product to deal with virality like forwarding limits that it had set on its messages quoting, "We talked about the work we are doing to cooperate with law enforcement, put in place training, and handle requests".

"I am very happy to note that the CEO has assured me that he will take prompt action into those matters and address it", Prasad said post his meeting WhatsApp Global Head Will Cathcart.

Edited by Rupa Burman Roy

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