Big Relief For WhatsApp Users: Government Wants WhatsApp To Take User's 'consent' Before Being Added To Groups

Written By Daamini Sharma | Mumbai | Published:

WhatsApp users may get relief from being added to groups without their consent in future. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has asked the Facebook owned messaging platform to bring in a feature that would first ask for the users' consent before adding them to any WhatsApp Group. Currently, any WhatsApp user can be added to a group without his or her permission.

The government's move came after several people complained that they were being added to random groups repetitively without their consent. Once the complaints were brought to the notice of MeitY by the government agencies, the ministry took up the matter with WhatsApp.

Earlier, WhatsApp had introduced a feature wherein the group's administrator must have the users' number stored in the contact list. And, if the user left the group twice then the admin wasn't allowed to add him/her again. However, this wasn't a fool-proof measure.

According to the official, the MeitY wrote to WhatsApp seeking an action to prevent such practice. In response, the messenger giant said that as per their policy, group admin must have the user’s number added in the phonebook and if the user exits the group twice, then he/she cannot be added a third time.

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However, the ministry, in its next letter, sought WhatsApp attention towards cases when even after users exited a particular group twice, they were added through a different admin or in some cases a new group was formed with a different mobile number and these users were added to that new group, the official told the publication.

With this, the ministry has again urged them to explore introducing a feature where a user’s consent is taken before adding him/her to any group, said the official.

WhatsApp is yet to respond on this, the report has suggested.