India Fears Chinese Phones May Be Stealing Personal Info

© REUTERS / Shailesh Andrade/File PhotoCommuters use their mobile phones as they wait at a bus stop with an advertisement of Reliance Industries' Jio telecoms unit, in Mumbai, India July 10, 2017
Commuters use their mobile phones as they wait at a bus stop with an advertisement of Reliance Industries' Jio telecoms unit, in Mumbai, India July 10, 2017 - Sputnik International
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Chinese companies Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo have captured more than half of the smart phone market in India. Their servers are mostly located outside the country.

New Delhi (Sputnik) Indian government has served notices to 21 smart phone manufacturers including Chinese companies Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and other non-Chinese companies like Apple, Samsung and Micromax. India’s Information & Technology Ministry issued notices to the phone makers and asked the details of security procedures and processes they follow to ensure security and privacy of data.

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The step was taken after a meeting of India’s Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha with experts on August 14 to review the correlation between imports of electronic items and data leakages.

"We cannot ignore the fact if data is going to a third country… First, it was the raw material and now data is a big resource and it's important for us to ensure its safety," said one of the officials present at the meeting who did not wish to be identified.

Most of the Chinese companies selling phones in India have servers outside India.

Government sources told Sputnik that companies shall have to respond to the notices by August 26. “Mobile companies will have to inform security procedure taken by them to ensure data protection and privacy. If they do not comply, action will be taken under section 43 of India’s IT Act.”

Section 43 (a) of India’s IT Act bestow responsibility to a company to make sure that it keeps the data of users safe. In the case of violation, the rule has a provision of unlimited compensation and penalties of Rs 5 crore ($0.75 million) through state level arbitrators.

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