Sebi is finding it difficult to keep track of those who are influencing stock market prices by using the communication medium to their advantage. The modern communication methods make it incredibly easy for those who want to influence stock prices to deliver their message across to many people and thus bring about a tangible fluctuation in the market.
The watchdog is now considering steps to tackle this problem and their inability to keep track of the fast moving channel of mobile messaging. The apps that Sebi is currently looking at are BBM and Whatsapp. These apps make it easy for anyone to put out information to their entire address book. Both apps come with ‘broadcast’ features which amplifies a message in terms of reach. Once someone receives a message and forwards it, this starts a chain reaction which can mushroom depending on the news involved, thus making it viral. This could definitely be enough to influence the stock market. The biggest problem with these services is that they have privacy options for their users and thus a public sweep will not give Sebi or any other tracker any results unless BBM and Whatsapp allow access to Sebi and I am not sure if that will happen easily. Sebi has said that it monitors social mediums to see if anyone is divulging sensitive market information but mobile messaging continues to stump it.
I think Sebi is fighting a losing battle when it comes to mobile messengers. These messenger apps need to have good privacy offerings, otherwise I don’t think they will be adopted easily. Sebi needs to talk to the companies behind the apps directly and see if a solution can be found without violating any privacy policies. There seem to be no other options to solve this problem. However, such problems are not new. As long as there is privacy in communication, there will always be a risk involved in terms of stock market manipulation and there is no way anyone can come between that.
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Story Source | Firstpost
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