Piracy incident raises questions about WhatsApp digital payment service plans: government sources

New Delhi, November 1 () The latest security incident around WhatsApp could influence the launch of its digital payment services in India, as these systems must be infallible, said a senior government official.

When asked if the Pegasus spy fight could affect WhatsApp digital payment plans that are still awaiting regulatory approvals, the official said the incident will certainly raise questions about the seriousness of the plans and aspects security, particularly because digital payment is about infallible systems.

An email sent to WhatApp on the subject was left unanswered.

The messaging application, which has around 400 million users in India, has been testing its payment service in the country since last year with around one million users. The WhatsApp service will compete against companies such as Paytm, PhonePe and Google Pay as it is implemented nationwide in India.

Official sources said the government is disturbed by the lack of WhatsApp revelations about the piracy incident, even during its multiple rounds of talks with the Center since June.

The sources also questioned WhatsApp for resisting again and again the government's demands for traceability and tracking the origin of false messages, citing privacy concerns, when there have actually been incidents of users who have been spied on.

The government will insist on the traceability of the source in case of malicious messages, the official said, adding that the Center has not asked WhatsApp to break any encryption.

The sources also questioned the time when Pegasus piracy incident statements came after the Indian government pressured WhatsApp to track.

If it is a coincidence, it is too much coincidence that WhatsApp is under global pressure on the traceability part and that the Indian government seeks to make social media companies more responsible, said the source, adding that the work on the Law on Protection of Personal Data is underway and will appear at the next session of Parliament.

... you (WhatsApp) are asking for privacy ... but privacy is being stolen by certain corrupt elements, the official said, adding that the government will wait for WhatsApp's response before taking any action. Source also claimed that WhatsApp was required by law to make this disclosure, but decided not to. SR MBI ABM

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