India

Truecaller issues statement after being labelled harmful Chinese App

Reacting to reports that the Indian security establishment asked troops to delete some 40 Chinese mobile apps, including the leading communication app Truecaller, to avoid a possible cyber-attack, the company on Thursday denied any foul play on its part.

According to reports, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) in an November 24 advisory asked troops to delete apps like WeChat, Truecaller, Weibo, UC Browser, and UC News from their smartphones or reformat their devices altogether.

“In response to certain reports, we would like to clarify that we are a Sweden-based company. We are not sure why the app is on this list, but we’re investigating. Truecaller is not a malware, and all our features are permission based and are disabled by default,” the company said in a statement.
The advisory largely focuses on apps made by China-based companies. But TrueCaller stands out in the list, not only because it is not from a Chinese company but also because it is arguably the most popular app in the list of apps that Indian Army deems dangerous.

While the list is obviously meant for people part of national security apparatus, if Indian government is deeming an app dangerous for its officials it is also probably dangerous for regular users.
Recently, Indian government had asked over 30 big phone makers in the country to explain how they were collecting data from their phones sold in the country and how they were using this data. Of particular concern to the Indian government are apps and devices that collect user data and then send some of its data, mostly for valid reasons, to servers based in China.

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