Centre Quashes Reports Of Crackdown On Pre-Installed Apps

Reacting to the report, the Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the “story is plain wrong”.
The Centre has quashed reports of crackdown on pre-installed applications
The Centre has quashed reports of crackdown on pre-installed applications

The Centre on Wednesday quashed reports that claimed it had plans to force smartphone makers to allow removal of pre-installed applications and mandate screening of major updates under new security rules.

A report published on Reuters titled, ‘India plans new security testing for smartphones, crackdown on pre-installed apps’ had mentioned that the proposed rules could extend launch timelines in the world’s second-largest smartphone market, it implemented.

It also said that the IT ministry is considering these rules with concerns over spying and abusing of user date, citing an unnamed senior government official. Reuters quoted the official as saying, “Pre-installed apps can be a weak security point and we want to ensure no foreign nations, including China, are exploiting it. It's a matter of national security.”

Meanwhile, reacting to the report, the Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the “story is plain wrong”.

He tweeted, “This story is plain wrong - there is no 'security testing' or 'crackdown' as story suggests. Story is based on lack of understanding perhaps n unfettered creative imagination that is based an ongoing consultation process btwn Ministry n Industry on mobile security guidelines of BIS Standard IS17737 (Part-3) 2021.”

Rajeev Chandrasekhar stressed that the government is focused on ramping up electronics manufacturing in the country.

“@GoI_MeitY is 100% committed to Ease of doing Business n is totally focussed on growing Electronics Mfg to touch USD 300Bln by 2026,” he wrote.

Moreover, the fact-checking handle of the Press Information Bureau (PIB) retweeted the post from Rajeev Chandrasekhar and said that the news report is “misleading”.

It said, “As explained by the Union Minister @Rajeev_GoI ongoing consultation on mobile security guidelines is misrepresented.”

It may be noted that the Centre had stepped up scrutiny of Chinese applications and banned several popular apps including the likes of TikTok and PUBG amid tensions with China on the northern border. Shortly after the Galwan Valley clash in 2020, India began to enforce the first round of bans on Chinese apps.

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