Latest Amid Privacy Debate on Scramble for WhatsApp in India

WhatsApp is struggling with a state of mistrust globally after updating its privacy policy, as it has allowed some user data to be shared with the original Facebook and other group firms, and its ambitions in its largest market, India There is a risk of failing.

although WhatsApp India has yet to see large-scale uninstalls of its app, with users concerned about privacy increasingly downloading rival apps such as The hint And Wire, Research firms say, promoting them higher on the download charts and putting those apps ahead of their ubiquitous rival for the first time in India.

Reaction in India – where 400 million users exchange more messages on WhatsApp anywhere in the world – has sent a messaging app in at least 10 English and Hindi newspapers to message ad blitzes costing millions of rupees this week Is forced.

WhatsApp said in a newspaper announcement, “Respect for your privacy is coded in our DNA.”

It said that its privacy policy update “does not affect the privacy of your messages with your friends and family in any way”. WhatsApp has also stated that changes in privacy policy are only related to users’ interactions with businesses.

When asked for comment, WhatsApp sent Reuters for its published statements on privacy.

The media campaign – similar to the one it ran two years ago when it faced criticism for not doing enough to curb disruption in India – underscores the severity of the crisis for the world’s most popular messaging platform.

mother-father Facebook And WhatsApp has made big bets on India and any user can make a dent in their plans.

Last year, Facebook invested $ 5.7 billion (about Rs 41,600 crore) in the digital unit of the Indian oil-to-tech group. believe – Social media giant’s biggest deal since $ 22 billion (approx. Rs. 1,60,660 crore) Purchase WhatsApp in 2014.

A major chunk of India investment hinges on a WhatsApp and Reliance project to allow around 30 million mum-and-pop store owners to transact digitally.

Although WhatsApp’s payment service, approved by India’s major payment processors late after a two-year wait, does not fall under the privacy policy update, any user shift to other messengers may well mean losing to rivals. .

Worries abound

Users around the world were alerted when WhatsApp said on January 4 that it had reserved the right to share certain user data, including Facebook and its units, such as location and phone number. instagram And Messenger.

Even as WhatsApp sought to calm fears and reassure users that neither it nor Facebook would have access to their messages, calls or call logs, privacy policy updates swelled signal downloads globally Started a storm with people as people were looking for alternative messengers.

Signal was the most downloaded free app on both in India. Apple iOS and Google Android According to Internet research firm Top10VPN, beating out WhatsApp.

According to analytics firm Sensor Tower, signal downloading in India reached 71,00,000 between January 5 and January 12. Telegram downloads increased by 40 percent while WhatsApp fell by 30 percent over the download period.

Manish Khatri, a Mumbai-based smartphone seller, said that many of his customers were asking whether WhatsApp could read his messages.

Indian startups are also quick to respond.

“Here in India WhatsApp / Facebook are abusing their monopoly and snatching away the privacy of millions of users,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Chief Executive Alibaba-Without fintech PaytmBut said Twitter.

“We should move on to @signalapp right now. It is up to us to hunt or reject such tricks.”

MobikwikAnother digital payment firm had started using WhatsApp for business communications, but has decided to move to Google and Signal, its owner said.

Mobikwik CEO Bipin Preet Singh said, “I am making myself unavailable on WhatsApp and I have advised senior officials to do the same.”

WhatsApp payment system in India is preferred along with Paytm and MobiKwik On google And walmart phonepe.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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