The Indian government has reportedly sent out notices to 21 smartphone companies over fears that users personal data could be compromised. Among the list of these companies are a bunch of Chinese smartphone manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Vivo, Gionee, and Oppo. Other companies include Samsung and Apple, as well as Indian manufacturers such as Micromax, Karbonn and Lava. Also Read - Xiaomi Mi Mix 4 could launch as a high-end phone with tons of exciting featuresAlso Read - Xiaomi confirms Mi 11 Lite colour variants in India: Here are the options available
The decision to send a notice to these smartphone companies was taken during a high-level meeting chaired by IT and law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, ToI reports. The move comes on the back of concerns that these smartphone manufacturers are allegedly siphoning and compromising data of Indian users . Also Read - Vivo V21e 5G launch on June 24; company accidentally reveals in a tweet
The government wants smartphone manufacturers to build layered security measures to guard against unauthorised access to consumer data. There seems to be a belief that users information being sent to third-party servers placed abroad could be misused. BGR India has reached out to these companies for a response, and we will update the post as and when we receive them.
The notice sent to these smartphone makers reads, Under Section 70B (6) of the IT Act, you are hereby requested to provide a detailed, structured written response about the safety and security practices, architecture, frameworks, guidelines standards etc followed and implemented in your product services, provided in the country. According to the IT Act, Section 43(A), a body corporate is accountable to protect the privacy of data of the users and it is their responsibility to make sure that they take reasonable security measures and these provisions have to be complied with. ALSO READ: Majority of Indians find homegrown products more reliable than Chinese
These companies have been given till August 28 to respond to the notice. The report adds that if there are any doubts over the response, then the government may also conduct a separate audit.
This isn t the first time concerns have been raised over how Chinese smartphone makers are treating users data. Back in 2015, there was a huge hue and cry about Xiaomi allegedly sending user data to remote servers located in China. It also led to the Indian Air Force warning its squadron and their immediate family members against using Xiaomi smartphones.
More recently, TRAI chairman RS Sharma expressed his disappointment over Apple not allowing TRAI s Do Not Disturb (DND) app on the iOS platform. The app allows users to flag pesky calls and unsolicited messages from telemarketers directly to the regulator, and Google s Android operating system supports the app. Apple however has yet to comment on the issue.
Lately, Chinese companies are dominating the Indian smartphone space. In Q1 2017, Chinese smartphone manufacturers market share was about 51 percent. Once dominating the Indian market, the likes of Micromax, Lava and Karbonn have been replaced by the likes of Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo at the top of the table. RELATED: Chinese brands hold 48% smartphone market share globally: Report