WhatsApp to trace the origin of false messages, to set up servers in India

When the government threatened an action against WhatsApp about the spread of fake news, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the American messaging platform, Chris Daniels, flew to New Delhi to repair things.

Daniels, who took over the leadership of WhatsApp in May, told the government that it would be a technological solution to trace the origin of false messages. The Facebook company, with more than 200 million active subscribers in India, has also pledged to comply with the rules of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regarding local storage of financial data by having servers in India.

Daniels, an insider of Facebook known for running internet.org in the California-based social media company, is burning news about the news shortly after he was appointed the WhatsApp boss, together with the Indian authorities. After an exchange of letters with the Information Technology Department about the steps to block fake news, the WhatsApp team personally decided to meet the authorities to list the corrective actions planned by the company. In the country for three to four days, the team would also meet other ministers and bureaucrats. It could not be confirmed if a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi was planned.

A few hours after his interaction with Daniels, minister of electronics and information technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad had gone to Argentina for an ICT conference. From there he travels to Silicon Valley, where a number of leading technology companies, including WhatsApp, are located. The minister is scheduled to meet top executives from many technology companies, including Google, during his trip to the US.


WhatsApp takes a number of steps to ensure that the messaging app is not used for sending false messages


It is putting together a team in India


It gets a business head for the country


The messaging app that complies with local rules helps law enforcement authorities


There are 200 mn active users in India

WhatsApp, which has received various warnings and communications from the government about the spread of fake news, will establish a business entity headed by a local leader and appoint a grievance officer in India. While Daniels did not speak to reporters, Prasad said that he had asked WhatsApp to have a detailed mechanism to trace the origins of every sinister message.

"He (Daniels) said the company would try to work out a technological solution for this … I have noticed that it does not need rocket science to find a message that is circulated on the same day in hundreds and thousands millions, the same place, you need a mechanism to find a solution, "Prasad told reporters.

The company had previously expressed its inability to trace the origins of messages that cited consumer privacy, creating controversy. The government made clear to the American company that platforms such as WhatsApp can not flee their responsibility to control the threat of fake news by citing privacy as an excuse.

When storing financial data, the Minister said that WhatsApp had given the assurance that the company would follow everything

the guidelines where the RBI comes from.

"We expressed our concern at the RBI, namely the location of financial data in India, the RBI is working on the guidelines and he (Daniels) assured me that, whatever guidelines RBI will use, he will comply. in turn let it be known that it applies to all platforms when the guidelines come, "added Prasad.

Prasad said that he proposed three points – having a grievance person in India, establishing a system of compliance with Indian laws, so that one does not have to contact America for any problem, ensuring a good business entity in India because WhatsApp is part of the larger digital story. WhatsApp said it would work on all three steps, according to Prasad.

Apart from mob lynching problems arising from fake news, WhatsApp has been in talks with the government about the launch of its payment service. Matthew Idema, the company's chief operating officer, had met IT secretary Ajay Sawhney last month.

WhatsApp had recently announced that it would limit the forward of photos, videos and messages to five chats in India and remove the shortcut next to media reports, in a step to prevent the spread of fake news.

The platform also tests a label that marks links sent on chats as & sus; & # 39; suspicious & # 39 ;.

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