In 2020 the Indian government drew up a list of about 275 Chinese apps that needed to be verified to determine their compliance with the various security and privacy norms. The rift that arose during the pandemic between the two nations, China and India, as a consequence of the tension at the Ladakh led to an increased and tightened scrutinization of various Chinese apps available in the Indian market.
Why were these apps banned?
From the list of these 275 Chinese apps, many apps have been red-flagged over security-based concerns and several others have been banned due to violation of data sharing and privacy norms.
Commander Shyam Kaushal (Retd.) of the Indian Navy said, ” These apps give information about every individual where they are traveling, and other minute data – which China can easily use against India.” He further said, “The Chinese already have high-end technology and 5G speed, which make it much easier for them to track precise locations and other details…so by banning so by these apps we have saved our people from exploitation by the Chinese accessing their information.”
Permissions that access to the personal file, camera, mic, the internet can share the data to china are granted by an individual for the concerned app, gather details beyond what they expect of it. A person should be able to question their relevance before they grant permissions, such as that of, access to location, phone calls, media files, etc. It is in concern with such questions, that the government could spot various Chinese apps which unnecessarily asked for certain permissions.
There are thousands of photo filter and photo editing apps that exist with the sole reason for data selection and most of them associate or originate from china. The feature in almost all these apps is the same or similar with minor tweaks. Playstore keeps banning these apps the apps companies find one or the other way to exploit users’ data and take the data out of users handset that can be used for espionage by the Chinese government. – Software Engineers
China’s past records
China is capable of corrupting these apps with unknown bugs to be able to track certain activities of an individual who has downloaded the concerned app. China is capable of launching such apps in the Indian market through sneaky ways posing a threat to national security.
Measures Taken by the Indian Government
After the official ban of various Chinese apps, strict warnings have been issued by the government that discourages the possibility of downloading these apps by any other indirect means. Besides this, the government also sent a lengthy questionnaire to the concerned companies for seeking a valid response on their violation of the laid-down norms.
Geopolitics, cyber policy, and the information technology industry does create an adjoining impact on each other due to their interlinked way of working. It is already known that China and the major business houses there are closely linked to each other.
China has often gone past the rules and regulations in its play of power and its past records make this very fact pretty evident.
The use ‘Stalkware’, an application for spying and stalking, increased by 20% in India, since the lockdown began in June, as indicated by the IT security organization Avast.
Since the beginning of the lockdown, Avast has shielded more than 4000 users from such unethical apps, in India.
Stalkerware is exploitative programming that permits individuals to follow somebody’s area, access their photographs, recordings, location, activities, capture messages and application correspondences, for example, WhatsApp and Facebook. It is responsible for snooping on calls and making incognito accounts of discussions over the web, without the target user knowing.
Why not just the Indian government but every government should care?
- Public Safety
- Political Agenda
- Economy Manipulation
- Spying on Government
2019 was the time for a lot of information leaks and breaches. Features that shocked as well as warned the clients to ensure the safety of individual information. A new overview shows that 52 percent of clients surveyed accept their need to fortify information approaches and policies.
45 percent of these clients want marketing and advertisement regulatory policies to ensure more strictness. On the other hand, 88 percent expect that data protection measures will turn out to be progressively significant this year.
The government had confirmed during the last quarter of 2019 that it is going to formulate new guidelines for intermediaries which include the social media companies as well. The formulated guidelines make it a compulsion to use automated technology-based tools to identify and remove as well as be able to determine the origin of unlawful content.