WhatsApp Privacy norms caution Indian Inc
Companies in pharma and financial services space are sensitising their workers and looking at other options such as restricting communications to emails, cyber security leader for APAC, PwC said. Large companies are taking this as a means to remind their employees that WhatsApp is not the official channel of communication. The Facebook-owned messaging platform has said that the new updates do not change its data sharing practices and won’t impact people’s communication with friends and family.
Companies are also cognizant about potential liability issues.
Gogia said companies in the services sector and others are issuing such alerts. “In lesser compliant industries, there is rampant use of WhatsApp. Groups are standard. Screenshots are taken. WhatsApp has entered the corporate space in a very big way. Companies cannot ban it. But they can enforce policies around it,” he said. “With the recent development, large companies are reminding staff that the platform is not the official channel of communication.”
Communication via mails, texts
Many companies are sensitising employees and evaluating other options, said Sivarama Krishnan, cybersecurity leader for Asia Pacific at PwC.
“Companies in the pharma and financial services space are doing this,” he said. “In the past, financial services firms shared a lot of communication through WhatsApp. They are restricting communications to emails or personal messages instead of WhatsApp now. Many services companies are evaluating other options. WhatsApp has integrated well with businesses. Companies which have made WhatsApp a basis for sensitive communication are now moving away.”
Rahul Tyagi, co-founder at enterprise cybersecurity firm Lucideus. said, Senior professionals in companies have conveyed to employees that they need to tone down the usage of WhatsApp and use business communication platforms such as Slack instead
WhatsApp was never meant for business communication. WhatsApp and other similar applications were designed for convenience,” he said. “Organisations are moving to platforms such as Slack because even in other messaging applications such as Telegram and Signal,there are certain settings that need to be enabled in order to get the best ROI.”
Every company will need to take its own stand on the matter, said Rituparna Chakraborty, executive vice president at TeamLease Services.
“There is an uproar all across the world around this,” she said. “A lot of companies have WhatsApp groups for business dealings. There will be some impact of the privacy update on company communications for sure.”
-input with ET