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In the backdrop of Germany banning the new privacy policy of WhatsApp, the Indian government is proactively looking at best possible options around it.

“The ministry is cognisant of this problem. Today, Germany has banned this privacy policy of WhatsApp. The ministry is proactively looking at what we can do about it,” MeitY Special Secretary and Financial Advisor Jyoti Arora said at an Assocham event.

WhatsApp has been facing one hell of a backlash ever since it announced its plan to implement a new privacy policy, which allows Facebook to aggregate all of its users’ data across all of its services.

The users fear that their data would be used by Whatsapp to expand its marketing and advertising business by allowing Facebook to aggregate their data from the mobile messaging platform.

The government feels that there should be a robust cybersecurity infrastructure at a time when the Covid pandemic jacked up usage of digital services across India.

“When you have a digitally fast-growing economy, cyber trust becomes a critical element to ensure that we are able to achieve the intended economic outcome by the use of technology,” Jyoti said.

MeitY has taken several steps for cybersecurity, including setting up of Cyber Swachhta Kendra and sectoral CERTs in the area of finance and power, she said.

A single major cyber incident can put the country in darkness as the integrated grids are connected to nuke or coal plants, Jyoti said.

“We have to be up to speed to see that all these vulnerabilities are plugged and we are ahead of people who are trying to be in the damage need and, therefore, there is need for cyber experts,” she said.

WhatsApp had set May 15 for its users to accept a change in privacy policy but later scrapped the deadline for users to accept the controversial update.


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