WhatsApp has swept consumers in a large Indian market due to privacy concerns

WhatsApp is battling global mistrust after updating its privacy policy to allow it to share user data with parent Facebook and other group companies, and its largest market. There is a danger of a backlash in India to thwart its ambitions.

Although the WhatsApp is yet to be widely installed in India, users concerned about privacy are increasingly downloading rival apps such as Signal and Telegram, with research firms saying that the download chart But they are advancing higher and will put these apps ahead of their general competitors. India for the first time.

The reaction in India – where 400 million users exchange messages on WhatsApp anywhere in the world – has forced the messaging app to remove billboards costing tens of millions of rupees in at least 10 English and Hindi newspapers this week.

“Your privacy is enshrined in our DNA,” WhatsApp said in a press release.

It states that the update of its privacy policy “does not in any way affect the privacy of your messages with your friends and family.” WhatsApp also said that the changes to the privacy policy are only related to the interaction with the consumer’s business.

The media campaign – similar to the one it launched two years ago when it was criticized for failing to take significant steps to curb anonymous information in India – is the world’s most popular messaging platform. Indicates the severity of the crisis.

Basic Facebook and WhatsApp have placed a lot of bets on India and any user can stop their plans.

Last year, Facebook invested $ 5.7 billion in the digital unit of Indian oil to tech group Reliance – the social media company’s biggest deal since WhatsApp’s $22 billion purchase in 2014.

A large portion of India’s investment comes from the WhatsApp and Reliance projects to facilitate digital transactions for about 30 million moms and pop store owners.

Although WhatsApp’s payment service, which was approved by India’s flagship payment processor at the end of last year after a two-year wait, does not come under the Privacy Policy Update, Moving to other messengers means losing to well-entered competitors.

The concerns are many

Users around the world were shocked when WhatsApp said on January 4 that it had reserved the right to share some user data, including location and phone numbers, with Facebook and its units such as Instagram and Messenger. ۔

Even when WhatsApp tried to calm fears and reassure users that neither it nor Facebook would have access to their messages, calls, or call logs, the privacy policy update Kari took the world by storm with signal downloads as people searched for alternative messengers.

According to internet research firm Top 10 VPN, Signal was the most downloaded free app in India on both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android outpacing.

Signal downloads in India reached 7,100,000 between January 5 and January 12, according to analyst firm Sensor Tower. Telegram downloads increased by 40% while WhatsApp downloads decreased by 30pc.

Manish Khatri, a Mumbai-based smartphone seller, said many of his users were asking if WhatsApp could read his messages.

There has also been an immediate reaction to Indian startups.

“Here in India, WhatsApp / Facebook is abusing its monopoly and not taking into account the privacy of millions of users,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, chief executive of Alibaba-backed fintech Paytm.

We should now move on to signalapp. It is up to us to victimize or reject such measures.

Another digital payment company, MobiKwik, started using WhatsApp for business communications but has decided to shift to Google and Signal.

“I am not making myself available on WhatsApp and I have advised senior executives to do the same,” MobiKwik CEO Bipin Preet Singh told PTI. Reuters.

WhatsApp’s payment system in India competes with Paytm and MobiKwik, as well as Google Pay and Walmart’s PhonePe.

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