On Thursday, Centre announced that it will be issuing a notice to WhatsApp regarding the rising issue of international spam calls, which is considered a violation of user privacy and misuse of the messaging and calling service.
As international spam call complaints rise, users are sharing lists of unknown numbers from various country codes on social media platforms like Twitter. An intervention has been proposed to tackle the issue.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State For Electronics and Information Technology stated that digital platforms are responsible for ensuring the safety of their users. He also mentioned that the government will handle every case of alleged misuse or breach of privacy.
“I have said repeatedly that openness trust, safety and accountability are the responsibility of platforms who deliver to digital nagriks,” the Minister noted, reports the Hindustan Times.
“If there is an issue of spam, it is certainly an issue WhatsApp should look at or any messenger platform should look at, he added. Government will respond to every alleged misuse or alleged breach of privacy,” he added.
The Minister emphasised that digital platforms are responsible for maintaining openness, trust, safety, and accountability. He suggested that messenger platforms like WhatsApp should investigate any issues regarding spam. The government will address every alleged violation of privacy or misuse.
Centre will issue a notice to WhatsApp and request an explanation, according to the Minister.
Truecaller's 2021 data revealed that India is one of the worst-affected countries by spam calls and messages. Ranking ninth out of 20 nations surveyed, Indians have fallen prey to the maximum number of these annoying and unwanted spam calls.
WhatsApp has improved its artificial intelligence and machine learning system to decrease fake news sharing and misinformation in India. The messaging app claimed that its new enforcement will lower the current calling rate by half and effectively control the current incidence of misinformation.
According to WhatsApp, with nearly 500 million users in India, it is working tirelessly to guarantee a secure user experience. The app plans to continue its efforts in maintaining a safe digital space through its updated technology.
“Protecting the privacy and security of users is fundamental to Meta and to WhatsApp. Our users are at the heart of everything we do and we are fully aligned with the Government’s goal of keeping users safe. WhatsApp is a leader among end-to-end encrypted services in protecting user safety,” the WhatsApp statement added.
The company has committed to prioritising user safety education and awareness and taking proactive measures to remove bad actors from its platform.
“However, bad actors find different ways to scam users. International scam calls is a new way that bad actors have recently adopted. By giving a missed call, they lead curious users to call or message back only to get scammed,” the company statement said.
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