As the world celebrates the coming of a new decade, Whatsapp recorded over 100 Bn messages worldwide, the company announced. With over 400 Mn Indian users, the messaging app saw over 20 Bn messages shared on New Year’s Eve.
The data revealed by Whatsapp relates to the 24 hours until midnight Pacific Time on December 31, 2019 and is an estimation based on the activity on the app in that time.
According to an ET report, the social messaging app claimed that a large number of the messages were sent wishing the near and dear ones a ‘Happy New Year’ via video and voice calls, private messages, voice notes and picture messages. However, it has to be noted that Whatsapp uses end-to-end encryption so it cannot actually see what the sender and receiver are talking about. So these figures are not exact numbers.
Whatsapp’s New Year In India Looks Bleak
Stuck in between Pegasus snooping scandal and government’s repeated orders for enabling message traceability and data localisation, the Facebook-owned Whatsapp is going through some really tough times in India. It’s payments services has also hit regulatory hurdles and delays.
Last month, Whatsapp submitted a report to the parliamentary standing committee of Information Technology headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. The report stated that the social media platform is secured with end-to-end encryption and any access to the platform would violate the user’s privacy.
This also comes at a time when the personal data protection (PDP) bill is tabled in the parliament and is expected to be rolled out in 2020. The bill has raised concerns among several authorities and opposition leaders related to the data privacy of Indian citizens and the government’s hidden motive behind the access of personal information of Indian users.
Whatsapp, on Pegasus spyware breach controversy, had stated the government’s involvement for a very long time now. The Indian government, on the other hand, reportedly blamed the social messaging app for putting the citizens’ lives at risk and sought clarification.
On December 4, 2020, responding to the question titled ‘Extent of Whatsapp Privacy Breach,’ India’s IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told Lok Sabha that Whatsapp is reviewing the available information at the moment. He further stated that Whatsapp believes that out of 121 users whose devices were attempted to hack using Pegasus spyware, only 20 users in the country were breached.