After WhatsApp snooping row, govt to renew push for local storage of data: Report
India may soon make it mandatory for overseas firms to store data of Indian users within the country.
November 28, 2019 / 02:37 PM IST
The government is likely to use the WhatsApp snooping row to push the Facebook-owned messaging platform to localise data storage, the Hindustan Times reports.
WhatsApp recently sued Israeli surveillance firm NSO, accusing it of helping governments break into the phones of 1,400 users, including 121 Indians, through Pegasus, a spyware.
India is looking to make it mandatory for overseas firms to store data of Indian users within the country.
“WhatsApp informed us about some kind of vulnerability in its software in May (2019) and later in September, it sounded the government out about some kind of infiltration in its network without any specific detail. This is a serious issue of national security, and hence, requires necessary measures, including data localisation,” a source told the publication.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
The Indian government says the communication received from WhatsApp in May 2019 had insufficient information. The vulnerability note has been removed from the computer emergency response team (CERT-In) website.
“Even then (after the delayed communication), the alert was non-actionable,” a government official told the paper.
The push for data localisation has delayed the full rollout of WhatsApp Pay in India. WhatsApp is yet to comply with rules set by the Reserve Bank of India on data storage.
The central bank has made it mandatory for foreign companies providing digital payment services to store Indian users’ data locally. Amazon and Google have already complied with the guidelines.