NEW DELHI: As personal WhatsApp chats of celebrities were leaked, concerns have been expressed over the safety of WhatsApp chats on social media. As WhatsApp guarantees end-to-end encryption which claims that the "chat/call is secured and that no can can view or listen to it. Not even WhatsApp", but with the leak episode, it has been unsettling for users with many saying that 'privacy is a myth'.
It may be recalled that Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) cloned the mobile phones of Rhea Chakraborty and others, which gave them access to the WhatsApp chats of filmstars to look into a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) case.
As users started questioning, WhatsApp released a late night statement on Thursday to clarify its stand on the matter.
In the statement, WhatsApp spokesperson said, "WhatsApp protects your messages with end-to-end encryption so that only you and the person you're communicating with can read what is sent, and nobody in between can access it, not even WhatsApp. It's important to remember that people sign up on WhatsApp using only a phone number, and WhatsApp doesn't have access to your message content.
"WhatsApp follows guidance provided by operating system manufacturers for on-device storage and we encourage people to take advantage of all the security features provided by operating systems such as strong passwords or biometric IDs to prevent third parties from accessing content stored on device."
In the NCB investigation, certain media channels have claimed that they have access to leaked WhatsApp messages of Jaya Saha, who was Sushant Singh Rajput's former manager and part of Kwan Talent Management Agency, and the focus shifted to a 2017 chat allegedly between Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone and her manager Karishma Prakash where they are discussing about procuring drugs. NCB is probing whether Jaya had procured narcotics and banned drugs for these celebrities.
Have a look at the tweets on what netizens had to say about WhatsApp and privacy:
Privacy is a MYTH! pic.twitter.com/8mPXbsq7Ik— thePJ (@pjexplained) September 24, 2020
#WhatsApp ensures end-to-end encryption but WHAT'S THE POINT? We live in a place where govt agencies are leaking private chats between two individuals to the media. These chats between 2 people are now on TV screens for the country to watch!#NCB #India #Bollywood— Rohit Khilnani (@rohitkhilnani) September 22, 2020
When News Channels can proudly show one's private WhatsApp conversations out loud in primetime, you can safely say that data privacy is a myth.— Chitraranjan (@Chitrology) September 23, 2020
This NCB case has made one thing very clear. End to end encryption of WhatsApp chats is a giant piece of BS.— Sanket Upadhyay (@sanket) September 24, 2020
Absolutely. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook, remember? And can you trust Mark?— Pritish Nandy (@PritishNandy) September 25, 2020
Every encryption is subject to the legal policy. All intermediaries are bound by law to provide information to the agencies in case of crime.— Prafull Bhardwaj (@Prafull_law) September 24, 2020
Following the "revelation" of #WhatsApp chats of Bollywood actors, a short #thread on the #tech, #encryption #surveillance and #law. How did the police access the chats and what it means for privacy. 1/n— Saikat Datta (@saikatd) September 24, 2020