Messaging platform WhatsApp is testing to independently encrypt chat backups in the cloud. The service has been enabled in its latest beta update. The current E2E of messages does not allow anyone to have access to data. But with this feature, if a user has a backup of their data, authorities with a search warrant can get access to it. E2E across multiple devices is also being tested without the involvement of the users’ phones.
Former Amazon executive Manesh Mahatme has been appointed by WhatsApp to lead the payments division of India. The veteran with 17 years of experience will be looking to improve the payment experience for users, develop new offerings and work towards WhatsApp’s vision of financial inclusion in India. He has previously worked with Citibank, Airtel money, and Amazon. This feature has been under testing since 2018 and is waiting for regulatory approvals.
In order to train the youth of our country in digital skills and make them employment-ready, WhatsApp and NSDC have launched a joint initiative called Digital Skills Champions Program. It will be a module-based certified course for Tier III and IV cities across the country via WhatsApp’s project implementation partner InfiSpark. The program will start in five states on 50 campuses where students will be trained on critical aspects of digital safety and online privacy.
Facebook, in several countries, is bringing the Shops feature to WhatsApp, while also releasing Facebook Marketplace in the US. Personalised ads will be introduced based on the user’s shopping behavior. Statistics revealed, Facebook has over 300mn shop visitors and 1.2mn monthly active shops. The company is in the testing phase of a new tool called visual search. It is also focusing on AR and VR to allow content creators to earn money for their content.
Global social media giants, including Google, Facebook, and WhatsApp, are pressing for the removal of few clauses in the IT rules, especially the one that imposes personal criminal liability on the chief compliance officer, news reports said. Facebook and WhatsApp declined to comment on the reports. Google said it respects India’s legislative process and has always responded to govt requests to remove content that violates local laws.
Whatsapp, in accordance with the new IT rules for social media platforms, has appointed Paresh B Lal as grievance officer. All large digital companies have started updating their websites regarding the appointment of grievance officers. Flagged content, under the new rules, needs to be taken down within 36 hrs while pornography, nudity flagged content within 24 hrs. These platforms need to mention the name of the grievance officer and the process to lodge a complaint.
WhatsApp has filed a lawsuit against the Indian government for new regulations that permit authorities to make users’ private messages “traceable” and conduct mass surveillance. WhatsApp said the new regulations violate Indians’ constitutional rights. The new rules require social media companies to appoint officials to handle on-ground issues and give higher authorities access to delete any post considered offensive.