WhatsApp Under Fire: Indian Government Questions Platform's Role In International Spam Calls

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) plans to send a notice to WhatsApp regarding international spam calls to users.

What Happened? Union Minister of State for Electronics and Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar stated in a statement to MoneyControl that platforms have a responsibility to ensure safety and trust. He also mentioned the need to investigate how users’ numbers become exposed. The statement comes just days after the tech giant announced partnering with Truecaller India to tackle the spam call menace.

Chandrasekhar tweeted on Wednesday that the government will examine the breach in preparation for the new Digital Personal Data Protection Bill. He described the breach as “unacceptable” and a “violation of privacy.” Earlier this week, a Twitter engineer shared screenshots showing WhatsApp accessing his device’s microphone at unexpected times, including while he was asleep.

The screenshots alarmed users, including Twitter and Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk, who labelled WhatsApp’s microphone access as “weird” and declared the app untrustworthy.

See also: WhatsApp Joins Hands With Truecaller To Fight Rising Spam-Call Menace In India

In response, WhatsApp tweeted on Tuesday that they had contacted the engineer who posted the screenshot. The company believes an Android bug misattributes information in their Privacy Dashboard and has requested Google to investigate and fix the issue.

WhatsApp assured users they have full control over the app’s microphone access on their devices. According to the Meta-owned company, WhatsApp only accesses the mic when users make calls, record voice notes, or take videos, once permission is granted.

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Posted In: TechMeitYMetaRajeev ChandrasekharWhatsApp