To counter data theft and privacy infringement, the Indian government is all set to introduce guidelines and standards for smartphone manufacturers. It is to be noted that Chinese OEMs are specially covered in the guidelines.
Chinese smartphone makers and apps like UC Browser are under the government’s radar due to escalating tensions Sino-Indian relations. Smartphones contain sensitive and personal information of the user which may be exposed to danger if no actions are taken.
What are the guidelines about?
Majorly concerned about data security in smartphones, the guidelines and standards will address the overall privacy of the users. The government has issued notices to 21 smartphone manufacturers, asking them to send their compliance reports.
Chinese manufacturers include OnePlus, Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, Huawei, and Gionee, whereas Indian manufacturers, Lava, and Micromax are also taken in the loop. Giants like Apple and Samsung have also been notified.
Other areas of attention include the operating systems, applications, and third party browsers. The government has also indicated that security claims by the companies will be cross-checked when necessary.
According to a report by Business Insider, recommendations from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Department of Telecom (DoT), and suggestions from the ISO Standards may be taken for these guidelines.
The reason behind recommendations from these bodies can be the varied data that is stored in a smartphone. With phones storing everything from Social ID handles to Bank and Card details, it is necessary to include the bodies that regulate these aspects.
We can look back at the Reliance Jio customers data leak, which led to all the Jio customer’s details leaking online. Another lesson can be taken from the recent incidences of malware and ransomware attacks on systems.
The government here is concerned about Chinese origin devices storing details of Indian citizens amidst tensed relations between the two. Not only Chinese but Indian manufacturers and apps are on the radar for security purposes as well.