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Experts Seek Clarity on Data Protection Bill Amid WhatsApp Spyware Row

Singh also demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) be set up to probe the WhatsApp breach

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WhatsApp
WhatsApp on a smartphone device. Pixabay

As the Opposition took on the government in Rajya Sabha regarding WhatsApp snooping via third-party Israeli software Pegasus, a roundtable discussion in the Capital on Thursday sought clarity on the much-anticipated Personal Data Protection Bill (PDP).

Organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the roundtable deliberated upon the impact of the draft PDP 2018 on ease of doing business in India to create a dialogue between key industry representatives, civil society and media personnel on the different aspects of the draft PDP bill that are areas of concern for the industry.

The experts demanded clarification in several areas of ambiguity that exists in the draft Bill which need to be better clarified for businesses to fully comprehend the extent of adjustments businesses will have to do to comply with them.

“The bill categorises data as Personal data, Sensitive Personal data and Critical Personal data, but the industry lacks clarity on to which data qualifies under which head and hence is not equipped to take necessary precautions,” said an IAMAI report.

The PDP bill talks of consent and explicit content for different categories of data, but there is no clarity on what would qualify as consent and explicit consent. Thus, businesses have no idea of the compliance requirements involved.

whatsapp, paytm, UPI-based Pay service
FILE – The WhatsApp app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration. VOA

The PDP bill creates a need for the data fiduciary to repeatedly obtain consent from the data principal for every step of the processing activity.

“The problem gets aggravated when data collection and processing are done by different agencies, in which case, each fiduciary will have to take consent at every step of the operation,” said the report.

The discussion was an attempt to help create a holistic well-informed public discourse on the Bill, which will eventually strengthen the collective effort to the draft a well devised Data Governance regime in India, said IAMAI.

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Earlier in the day, members of the Opposition led by Congress leader Digvijay Singh raised challenging questions and concerns in the Parliament as IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad did not give any direct reply.

Singh also demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) be set up to probe the WhatsApp breach. (IANS)

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WhatsApp to Support “Call Waiting” Feature

Meanwhile, the latest WhatsApp beta update has brought three new options for dark mode on the app

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WhatsApp
Call waiting is available in v2.19.352 stable (APK Mirror) and above of WhatsApp, and v2.19.128 (APK Mirror) of WhatsApp Business. Pixabay

Facebook-owned WhatsApp has become the latest Voice over Internet Protocol services provider to support call waiting feature even as the company has skipped adding call holding for now.

When you’re already talking on the phone and another person tries to call you, most phones and operators let you know that you’ve got a call waiting. Very few VOIP services support that, though, and WhatsApp wasn’t among them until now, Android Police reported on Friday.

Earlier, when somebody would try to call you on WhatsApp while you were already on the phone, they would hear it ring, but, no one would answer. The call would then get disconnected.

Call waiting is available in v2.19.352 stable (APK Mirror) and above of WhatsApp, and v2.19.128 (APK Mirror) of WhatsApp Business, the report added.

WhatsApp
Facebook-owned WhatsApp has become the latest Voice over Internet Protocol services provider to support call waiting feature even as the company has skipped adding call holding for now. Pixabay

Meanwhile, the latest WhatsApp beta update has brought three new options for dark mode on the app.

The light theme would offer a white background. Dark theme, as the name suggests, would enable dark mode on WhatsApp, according to WABetaInfo, a fan website that tracks WhatsApp updates.

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Another option, which is ‘Set by Battery Saver’, dark mode would be activated only when the smartphone’s battery level drops below a certain point. This third option is said to be available only for smartphones running on Android 9.0 or older. (IANS)