In the wake of multiple cases of data leaks, theft, spyware and malware attacks globally, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has directed 21 smartphone brands to share the security procedures and processes that they undertake to ensure the security of their mobile devices.
Senior government officials at the ministry mentioned that these steps are being taken to ensure that data privacy of Indian citizens using smartphones remains intact and isn’t affected by data leaks or breaches.
A majority of the 21 smartphone companies hail from China and have been asked to provide the relevant information by August 28, 2017.
“There have been some reports that some mobile phones leak data. The government is taking all steps to see how that leakage of data can be prevented,” the official said.
The details that have to be sent in the security measures report include the device’s operating system, pre-loaded applications and the browser of the device.
“The first step in that direction is that we have asked the mobile companies to inform us what are the security procedures and processes that have been taken by them to ensure the security of the data of the users and their privacy. We want to make sure that any device that is sold in the country should be safe.”
According to the IT Act, Section 43(A), a corporate entity 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.
All the tests to determine the security measures of these manufacturers will be conducted in India. The government is upgrading testing facilities as well as adding new testing techs to ascertain that the security infrastructure of the device is apt.
Currently, there are about 20 crore mobile phone devices active in India — most of which run on Android OS. Given the security issues on Android ecosystem, it is perilous to the data of users — especially personally identifiable as well as financial data.