India has recently announced plans to introduce new security testing for smartphones to improve the security of its citizens' personal information and prevent cyber threats from compromising sensitive data.
The move comes in response to concerns about the increasing reliance on smartphones in India, which has made the country vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches. India is currently one of the world's largest smartphone markets, with over 500 million smartphone users, and this number is expected to continue growing in the coming years.
Removal of Pre-installed Applications
One major change which is shocking for smartphone companies is that government will force smartphone companies to allow user removal of pre-installed apps. One important thing to note is that the new security testing requirements will apply to all smartphone manufacturers selling devices in India, including domestic and international brands. This includes major OTT platforms like NETFLIX, Amazon Prime Video and applications from other categories as well.
This initiative is used to save data of Indian citizens from these major companies. The government has not yet released details on the specific testing procedures that will be used, but it is expected to include a range of measures to identify vulnerabilities and potential security risks. This is definitely shocking news for Samsung, Xiaomi, Apple and every smartphone company out there.
Pre-installed apps can be a weak security point and the government wants to ensure no foreign nations, including China, are exploiting them. It's a matter of national security
Banned more than 300 Chinese Apps
The government of India has ramped up tightening security measures for Chinese apps since the border clash happened in 2020 including TikTok. The government found some solid evidence against these Chinese companies of stealing sensitive data of Indian users and misusing it against national security. However, the pieces of evidence were kept confidential.
The move is just a part of a broader effort by the Indian government to improve cybersecurity and protect citizens' personal information. In recent years, there have been a number of high-profile data breaches in the country, including the 2016 breach of over 3 million debit cards issued by Indian banks.
Improved Security Testing Measures
The new security testing requirements for smartphones are expected to be introduced in the coming months, and it is likely that manufacturers will need to meet these requirements in order to continue selling their devices in India. This is likely to be a significant challenge for some manufacturers, particularly those that have not previously prioritized security as a key feature of their devices.
Overall, the new security testing requirements for smartphones represent a positive step towards improving cybersecurity in India. By setting minimum security standards for all manufacturers, the Indian government can help to create a more level playing field, while also encouraging manufacturers to prioritize security as a key feature of their devices. This will be a big step towards spreading awareness of cyber-security to every user of the internet.