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TRA issues statement on VoIP apps
June 23, 2017
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ABU DHABI: The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has issued a statement following reports that VoIP telephone and video calls are now available on the Whatsapp application.

The statement clarifies that “there is no change in the UAE’s Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Policy. TRA reconfirms that any applications or services of this type must comply with the applicable regulatory framework in the country.”

TRA, has warned against the new update of Snapchat for its photo messaging feature, the Snap Map.

The risks of automatically providing a map of the users’ location without their knowledge “may lead to unaccounted consequences and breaches that harm the privacy of individuals as well as other negative consequences of automatic detection of users’ locations at the time of using the application,” the regulatory authority has said.

The new update allows the release of the geographical location of Snapchat users and exposes it to all users worldwide, not just to their friends. Under the update, any Snap connection through the App can be viewed as a point on an interactive map once the screen is pulled, and when clicking on any of the points, the image or scene is opened without informing the owners that their location has become exposed.

“To avoid this, you need to make a simple change to your app settings, which people may overlook,” the TRA said. “A user who wants to be protected should modify the App setting by clicking the ‘Next’ button on the screen, then clicking on the ghost mode ‘me only’, and then clicking ‘Next’. This way, any circulated Snap will not show the user’s location on the interactive map.”

WAM

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