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WhatsApp thanks Ashwini Vaishnaw amid international spam calls issue

WhatsApp has expressed gratitude towards IT and Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw for acknowledging the Meta-owned messaging app’s “continuous commitment to user safety in India”. This comes after several WhatsApp users were bombarded with spam international calls and messages. MoS IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar asked the platform to explain how these spammers were getting access to the WhatsApp numbers.

Vaishnaw launched Sanchar Sathi portal on the occasion of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day today. This portal aims at helping users track their lost and stolen phones.

As per a statement by WhatsApp, “With reference to the recent endorsement (at the Press Conference for the launch of Sanchar Saathi portal) from Ashwini Vaishnaw, about WhatsApp’s cooperation with the Government to ensure customer safety, we are grateful for the Minister’s acknowledgment of WhatsApp’s continuous commitment to user safety.”

The company assured that it has been actively engaging with the government to ensure safe and secure experience for users removing bad actors from WhatsApp.

The Meta-owned platform further stated, “WhatsApp is a leader among end-to-end encrypted services in protecting user safety and we continue to provide several in-built safety tools like Block & Report, Two-step verification, among others, along with regularly driving user safety education and awareness.”

WhatsApp international spam calls scam
It was recently reported by many WhatsApp users that they are getting spam calls on WhatsApp from international numbers. These numbers were from Indonesia (+62), Vietnam (+84), Malaysia (+60), Kenya (+254) and Ethiopia (+251).

To this, WhatsApp responded saying: “We have quickly ramped up our AI & ML systems to bring down such incidents significantly. Our new enforcement will reduce the current calling rate by at least 50 per cent and we expect to be able to control the current incidence effectively. We will continue to work relentlessly towards ensuring a safe experience for our users.”

In a statement to PTI, MoS IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar raised a few questions regarding the situation. He said, “How are they able to identify which numbers are on WhatsApp… are they doing it blindly?… is it some database they have got? If there is a database it is a violation of privacy, or if not are they are doing it through a bot… sending messages to random numbers… But that is certainly something platforms will be asked to look at.” BusinessToday

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