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WhatsApp Decides to Take Legal Actions Against its Term Violaters

The platform said it was able to assess the past dealings with problematic behaviours to ban 20 per cent of bad accounts at the time of registration itself

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whatsapp business app
FILE - The WhatsApp app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration. VOA

To improve the health of its platform, Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp has decided to take legal actions against those who are exploiting the platform by ways of unauthorised usage of the app, that has over 1.5 billion users.

“Beginning on December 7, WhatsApp will take legal action against those we determine are engaged in or assisting others in abuse that violates our Terms of Service, such as automated or bulk messaging or non-personal use, even if that determination is based on information solely available to us off our platform,” the company wrote in a post on Wednesday.

The company said WhatsApp is not intended to circulate bulk or automated messaging, both of which have always been a violation of their Terms of Service.

WhatsApp
WhatsApp on a smartphone device.

“WhatsApp was designed for private messaging, so we have taken action globally to prevent bulk messaging and enforce limits on how WhatsApp accounts that misuse WhatsApp can be used. We have also stepped up our ability to identify abuse, which helps us ban 2 million accounts globally per month,” TechCrunch reported a WhatsApp spokesperson as saying.

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Earlier this year, the platform said that it had built a Machine Learning (ML)-based system to detect and remove users who behaved inappropriately on the app.

The platform said it was able to assess the past dealings with problematic behaviours to ban 20 per cent of bad accounts at the time of registration itself, the report added. (IANS)

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WhatsApp Maintains its Stand on India’s Message Traceability Call

Without this feature, Woog explained, WhatsApp will be a completely new product

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WhatsApp
WhatsApp on a smartphone device.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp on Tuesday said it has nothing fresh to add to the Indian government’s demand to trace the origin of messages on its platform as it “undermined the privacy of the people”.

Reacting to an ET story that claimed government officials have asked WhatsApp to digitally fingerprint every message, without breaking its end-to-end encryption, so that the origin of an inauthentic or fake message can be traced, WhatsApp told IANS: “We have nothing new to add to what we have previously said on this.”

Last December, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology proposed changes to Section 79 of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.

The proposed regulations require a company to “enable tracing out of originators of information on its platform as required by legally authorised government agencies”.

The end-to-end encryption feature in WhatsApp makes it difficult for law enforcement authorities to find out the culprit behind a misinformation campaign.

The mobile messaging platform has already called the proposed changes “overbroad”, saying it undermined the privacy of the people.

whatsapp business app
FILE – The WhatsApp app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration. VOA

“Attributing messages on WhatsApp would undermine the end-to-end encryption, and its private nature, leading to possibilities of being misused. Our focus is to improve WhatsApp, and working closely with others in society to help keep people safe,” a company spokesperson had earlier said.

A top company executive in February stressed that some of the proposed government regulations for social media companies operating in India are threatening the very existence of WhatsApp in its current form.

“Of the proposed regulations, the one which concerns us the most is the emphasis on traceability of messages,” Carl Woog, WhatsApp’s Head of Communications, had told IANS.

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The Facebook-owned messaging app offers end-to-end encryption by default which means only the sender and the recipient can see the texts in circulation – not even WhatsApp.

Without this feature, Woog explained, WhatsApp will be a completely new product.

With over 200 million monthly active users, India is WhatsApp’s biggest market in the world. Globally, the platform has over 1.5 billion users. (IANS)