Government to Regulate Whatsapp and Facebook in India

Government to Regulate Whatsapp and Facebook in India

Government to Regulate Whatsapp and Facebook in India

As India is marching towards being a Pan-Technology country, there are hurdles which are either without any solution or with a debated one. Cyber crime is rising with the accelerating advancement in the use of technology in the Indian subcontinent, and so are privacy concerns.

With the convenience that social networks like WhatsApp, Facebook, Google Talk, Skype, WeChat etc offer, they remain the top choices for businesses as well as common people to communicate. We share vital information over these mediums, without giving a thought to the privacy of our conversations.

A new concern for the Indian users comes in the form of a policy from the government where the government has decided to “regulate WhatsApp and all similar services in India.”
Let us know about it in detail.

Privacy Concerns in India
Since India is newborn in the tech world when compared to other countries, it has majorly been focusing on discovering new possibilities and exploring the internet based world. However, in the past five years, India has seen an explosion in the Internet user-base. Fascination to social networks has engulfed the users and privacy had been taken into oblivion. It is only recently that the users in India have started questioning the lack of privacy of their information.The reason why privacy has jumped to the front seat from the back seat includes changing family structures and lifestyles in India and mass media explosion. And, Privacy concerns are major.

Government’s Take on Privacy of Information
It may blow your mind, but India’s constitution certainly does not guarantee a right to privacy to its citizens. To add to the misery, it lacks any defined data protection law in order to guard the users against the misuse of their personal information.

Official Announcements
The Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha on Friday in The Supreme Court asserted that, “The court is currently hearing a case related to WhatsApp sharing its data with its parent company Facebook and the privacy risks such a move may have for WhatsApp users”. Narasimha revealed that not just Whatsapp, but all such social networking services will be regulated. However, the limits of regulation policy are the discretionary power of the court.

The Delhi High Court, a couple years back had legitimated WhatsApp’s move to share data with Facebook.

Lawyers in India are of an opinion that, “Every individual has the right to a private life, and anyone seeking to abuse that must be brought to account in law”

Know about the New Policy
Regulation may be an ordinary word, but it has a deeper meaning attached to it. Enormous amounts of information about us will be collected and stored, needless to say, without our permission.

However, this vital decision comes in the wake of rising crimes in the country that are largely mediated through these social networks. No such networking site confirms the authenticity of the user, therefore making it an easy option for the wrongdoers. Thus, the government aims to keep a track of any sensitive data being exchanged through these service providers. It also limits sharing/selling of data between two providers. For example, it is speculated that Whatsapp shares its data with Facebook i.e. collects and shares horrendous amounts of data about our lives with parent company Facebook.

Though whatsapp in its privacy policy offered “end-to-end encryption”, it is possible that its users’ information is shared to Facebook, since both social networks are owned by a single entrepreneur. Regulation of these networks will limit such exchange of personal information.

In lay man’s words, these networks keep an eye on all your personal data exchanged over these networks i.e. intrude into your personal conversations.

It is an issue of concern as it violates a citizen’s right to life under Article 21.

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