IT ministry writes to 21 Smartphone makers to disclose data security measures

By VARINDIA - 2017-08-17

IT ministry writes to 21 Smartphone makers to disclose data security measures

After the recent escalation in number of security issues and to ensure the security of Smartphones, the IT ministry has asked 21 Smartphone manufacturers to share the procedures and processes they follow to fortify the security of data and Smartphones vended in India.

 

According to the reports, the ministry has given time till 28th August to the 21 Smartphone vendors out of which majority are Chinese manufacturers, namely Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, Lenovo and Gionee besides the renowned brands like Apple and Samsung. The ministry has also notified the companies with penalties such as unlimited compensation depending on the damage caused under the IT Act 43 (A) in case fixed processes are not being followed.

 

The orders have come out after many international and national reports which pointed out the data leaks from Smartphones.

 

As also revealed by the officials aware with the matter, the devices, operating systems, preloaded apps and softwares will foster scrutiny. In a statement to a media portal, a ministry official said that the Smartphones are an eminent part of digital India campaign, and as to the latest reported data leaks, it necessitates security.

 

He asserts that the safety and security procedures are necessary since they hold valuable information such as digital transactions and user’s personal data. The official also revealed that the testing and verification of devices will soon be conducted in India as the government upgrading its existing laboratory facilities.

 

In addition, to assure data security the ministry of electronics and IT has started working on preparing a separate law. With this the Indian telecom regulator has also started consultations related to ownership, security and privacy of data on telecom networks.

 

Commenting on this, Sanjay Nayak, CEO & MD, Tejas Network, said “Telecom networks are prone to cyber-attacks and if the equipment is from untrusted or foreign sources, the security of such networks can be certainly compromised. Such equipment can contain malware, trapdoors and hidden features, which cannot be detected by any amount of external testing and hence it is easily possible to shut-down or blackout a telecom network remotely. In addition, during any emergencies, the supply chain of such equipment can be disrupted and availability of spares and future support can be jeopardized. In India, at times we have seen companies from certain countries bid predatory prices in government tenders to gain access to such security-sensitive networks."

 

He adds, Given that telecom infrastructure is a key element of national security, most advanced countries in the world have invested in strengthening their indigenous technological capabilities and rely on sourcing equipment from their own country for any security-sensitive networks.”

 

The notice to the 21 companies issued after the IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad called a meeting with senior officials to assess the situation of Smartphone security and data leakages in the country and hence ordered the companies to follow the global security standards.

 

Tags: IT ministry, security of smartphones, smartphone manufacturers company, Chinese manufacturers, digital India campaign, Sanjay Nayak CEO Tejas Network, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad


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