In a significant move on Wednesday, the Indian Army has asked its personnel to delete 89 applications from their smartphones including Facebook, TikTok, Truecaller, and Instagram to plug leakage of information, news agency ANI reported quoting Indian Army sources. It also put out a list of those applications that the Indian Army has asked its personnel to delete. The list includes the China-based applications that are already banned; other big names are Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, PUBG, Zoom, Daily Hunt, Tinder, Truecaller, Clash of Kings, Club Factory, Tumblr, Reddit.
Indian Army has asked its personnel to delete 89 apps from their smartphones including Facebook, TikTok, Truecaller and Instagram to plug leakage of information: Indian Army Sources pic.twitter.com/l23Lu5ndNh— ANI (@ANI) July 8, 2020
This comes as mobile applications especially Facebook and Zoom facing the heat for its privacy policies and data security. As the Black Lives Matter protest gained momentum, major companies stalled their advertisement on social media platforms to review hate speech and privacy terms and conditions.
In a big move last week, the Home Ministry banned 59 Chinese Apps including TikTok. The Centre stated that it has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about the misuse of these apps for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers that have locations outside India.
As India banned the apps including TikTok, Chinese mouthpiece Global Times quoting sources said that the loss to the parent company - Beijing-based ByteDance could be as high as $6 billion. At the time that TikTok was taken down, it had approximately 370 million users on the Play Store, with a large majority of those coming from India.
Issuing a statement on apps ban by India, China had said that it violates international trade norms. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that Beijing is strongly concerned, and is verifying the situation. He also added that the Indian government has a responsibility to uphold the legal rights of international investors including Chinese ones.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 1 quit the Twitter-like Weibo account in China. The account, which posted messages in Chinese, removed all photos, posts and comments from the PM's official handle. Reports stated that China had deleted 'official Indian statements', including PM Modi's speech from the Indian embassy’s official account on WeChat - China's popular social media app. PM Modi's Weibo account was set up in 2015 before his first visit to the country as Prime Minister. The account had 115 posts on Weibo, which had to be deleted manually as Weibo has a complex procedure to quit for VIP accounts.