Tuesday July 23, 2019
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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 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.

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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)

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Flipkart Revamps its Seller Onboarding Process to Help MSMEs: Report

These regional teams, based in cities such as Lucknow, Coimbatore and Jaipur, cater to sellers in over 4,30 pin codes

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Flipkart on Monday announced it has revamped its seller onboarding process to ease the first-time e-commerce experience for medium and small businesses (MSMEs).

The e-tailer has also stationed 13 regional teams across the country to help onboard sellers in person, by meeting with them at their premises.

These changes to the onboarding process will make it easier for small sellers, who may not have prior digital expertise, to list their products on the platform and access Flipkart’s pan-India base of over 150 million customers.

“By revamping our onboarding process and simplifying the number of steps, we are making it easier for any seller, no matter the size, to list on our platform and get started from day one,” said Nishant Gupta, Head of Flipkart’s Marketplace business.

Flipkart Buys Back Shares Worth $350 mn.
New e-commerce norms to impact e-tailers: Flipkart. 

Currently, e-commerce accounts for less than three per cent of India’s overall retail industry. Government estimates suggest there are roughly 60 million MSMEs in India, many of whom are restricted to their local markets due to difficulties in accessing resources.

Flipkart has also added regional teams in various Tier II and beyond cities to help sellers sign onto the platform.

Also Read: Redmi Teases First 64MP Smartphone with Camera Sample

These regional teams, based in cities such as Lucknow, Coimbatore and Jaipur, cater to sellers in over 4,30 pin codes.

“As a home-grown company, we know that the future of e-commerce lies in bringing more MSMEs and smaller businesses online which, in turn, will generate employment and investment, and will meaningfully contribute toward the country’s socio-economic development,” added Gupta. (IANS)