Government bans 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, UC Browser and ShareIt

Updated: Jun 29, 2020, 22:16 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

The ministry said they had received many complaints from various sources about misuse of some mobile apps available on Android and iOS platforms for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users' data in unauthorised manner

Photo used for representational purpose
Photo used for representational purpose

The Union government on Monday banned 59 mobile apps including TikTok, UC Browser and other Chinese apps "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity and defence" of the country and "security of state and public order"'

In the statement, the Ministry of Information Technology said these apps were blocked “as they are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order”

The move came amid China-India standoff following clashes at Ladakh in which 20 Indian soldiers died and over 70 others were injured.

The release said that the ministry 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 unauthorised manner to servers which have locations outside India.

"The compilation of these data, its 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. At the same time, there have been raging concerns on aspects relating to data security and safeguarding the privacy of 130 crore Indians," said the release.

The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps, the release stated.

This Ministry also received many representations raising concerns from citizens regarding security of data and risk to privacy relating to operation of certain apps.

The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) has also received many representations from citizens regarding security of data and breach of privacy impacting upon public order issues.

"This move will safeguard the interests of crores of Indian mobile and internet users. This decision is a targeted move to ensure safety and sovereignty of Indian cyberspace", the release said.

Earlier this month, Indian intelligence agencies red-flagged these Chinese apps over safety and privacy issues of users. The government needs to either block access to these apps or advise people to stop their use, according to the intel inputs, said the agencies.

(With inputs from ANI)

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