“We know we have to compete for users’ trust when it comes to privacy and that’s very good for the world. People should have choices in how they communicate and feel confident that no one else can see their chats,” Cathcart said.
Asked if WhatsApp had seen an exodus of users to rival apps like Signal and Telegram, Cathcart answered in negative.
“No. We’re grateful that people continue to use and trust WhatsApp to communicate… We think competition on privacy is good because it will help make apps even more private and secure in the future, he added.
Cathcart also said that they are ready to answer to the government if any clarification is sought.
“We remain available to answer any questions and to explain our continued commitment to the privacy and security of users across India,” he said.
Sources also suggest that the authorities are currently examining and evaluating recent updates announced by WhatsApp and discussions are on within the IT Ministry over the implications of the recent move by the messaging platform.
It is also worth mentioning, WhatsApp in recent year have drawn flak from the government over misuse of the platform for the spread of misinformation. Following which the company has taken a number of steps to curb the spread of hate messages.
The global head of the Facebook-owned said that WhatsApp will continue to explain to people and its partners how the platform protects the privacy and security of people’s personal messages and also asserted that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can read users’ messages or hear their calls with others on the messaging platform.
Following which messaging service Telegram has crossed the 500-million subscriber mark globally with the addition of 25 million new users in the last few days. While it did not specify India-specific user numbers, Telegram said 38 per cent of the new users are from Asia.
Similarly, Signal had said the Indian market has “completely exceeded all expectations” and that the growth in the past few days has driven the company to add capacity to meet the burgeoning demand.