Rising Data Security Concerns
The Government of India, on Wednesday, has banned 118 more Chinese apps including PUBG Mobile in the interest of ‘sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order’ by invoking section 69 of Information Technology Act. Over the past couple of months, India had already blocked 106 Chinese apps in two separate decisions. This move takes the total number of Chinese apps that have been banned in India to 224 and there are indications that more may follow.
Besides PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite, the banned apps include Baidu, Baidu Express Edition, Tencent Watchlist, FaceU, WeChat Reading, Ludo All Star, Alipay, Tencent Weiyun, etc. The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said it has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about the misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and IOS platforms for “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.”
Securing the Indian CyberSpace
“The compilation of the users’ data, it’s mining, and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” the statement from the IT Ministry said. The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these apps. Moreover, there has been a strong chorus in the public space as well to take strict action against apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of Indian citizens.
On the basis of these and upon receiving of recent credible inputs about the security threat posed by these apps, the Government of India listed out 118 apps and decided to block the usage of these apps. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety, security, and sovereignty of the Indian cyberspace and is expected to safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users.
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