Do you often delete WhatsApp messages? You may need to do that if you are in lots of groups or are actively participating in various conversations. But, if the new proposal is accepted, you will be forced to not delete the messages for at least 90 days.
Delete WhatsApp Messages
These days there are dozens of groups where a WhatsApp user can be active. The high numbers of messages that are sent and received on a daily basis eat up the space on your mobile handset. The result? You either need to mute the group to stop receiving messages or free up the space by deleting old messages. Many of us do it and to delete WhatsApp messages becomes the need of the hour.
New Rules for Deleting Messages
The central government is contemplating upon introducing new rules to delete WhatsApp messages permanently. Under the proposal, WhatsApp users may be obliged to not delete the messages for at least 90 days. This is a huge time frame to keep messages ‘saved’ on the mobile.
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There was a huge public outcry and the government had to withdraw the draft to delete WhatsApp messages. There was a proposal for NEP (National Encryption Policy) released to get feedback from the common users. IT Minister Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad has admitted that the policy was poor in the draft and (so there could have been misinterpretation) a fresh one would be remade.
For those who do not know, that when a message is sent, it’s coded/scrambled automatically and then decoded when it reaches the recipient.
The proposal also wanted the users to not delete WhatsApp messages forever for a period of 90 days. Users will also have to make them available to the authorities or government whenever they are demanded. This one indeed seems a bit harsh on WhatsApp users. This proposal comes close on the heels of net neutrality and also ‘threatened’ to regulate the use of social media apps.
The Minister also made it clear that the policy will not in any way hamper individuals and they will protect the freedom of the social use. The original proposal wanted the apps as well as the platform to register their encryption services with the Indian government or at least sign up with the encryption services approved by the government.
What the Experts Feel
When to delete WhatsApp messages and how long to keep them is an encroachment on the right to use social media apps like WhatsApp. There is also the risk of other people – hackers – to view the messages. Keeping the messages intact for the period of 90 days is way too enough for allowing hackers to get all data pretty easily.
It is also likely that foreign companies working in India may not change their policies and may even stop their services in the country.
What are your views on how and when you should delete WhatsApp messages? Don’t you feel you are free to preserve or delete the message according to your convenience? With 70 million WhatsApp users in India alone, it would not be easy for the government to apply such strict guidelines.