WhatsApp notified government in May about security breach
New Delhi : WhatsApp on Friday claimed that they had notified the relevant authorities in Indian and at the international level about the security breach in May, a day the government had asked for an explanation from the Facebook-owned company.
"In May we quickly resolved a security issue and notified relevant Indian and international government authorities. Since then we’ve worked to identify targeted users to ask the courts to hold the international spyware firm known as the NSO Group accountable," said WhatsApp in a statement.
WhatsApp also clarified that they wanted to work with the Indian Government to safeguard the data of Indian users.
"We agree with the government of India; it’s critical that together we do all we can to protect users from hackers attempting to weaken security. WhatsApp remains committed to the protection of all user messages through the product we provide," a WhatsApp spokesperson in a statement.
It also claimed that the company is committed at making data secure with end to end encryption.
Currently, WhatsApp has over 1.5 billion users across the world and out of them 400 millions are from India itself.
Government, on the other hand, has been claiming that the company never notified about the attack and misuse of the platform; if they had informed, the authorities must had done something to ensure to stop the misuse.
“The company did not share any information with us about the attack when it took place. If there was any information, the government could have taken steps to stop it,” said a senior information technology ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
On Thursday, WhatsApp said Indian citizens, including former Union minister Praful Patel and former Lok Sabha MP Santosh Bharatiya, were among the those globally spied upon by unnamed entities using a spyware called Pegasus, developed by Israel-based NSO Group.
“Government of India is concerned at the breach of the privacy of citizens of India on the messaging platform WhatsApp. We have asked WhatsApp to explain the kind of breach and what it is doing to safeguard the privacy of millions of Indian citizens,” IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted on Thursday.