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IT Committee Discusses Banning of Chinese Apps & Data Security of Aarogya Setu App

Image for representation (Reuters)

Image for representation (Reuters)

In the Committee meet, officials from the IT Ministry & Home Ministry explained to the members the reasons behind the centre's decision to ban these apps.

Payal Mehta
  • CNN-News18
  • Last Updated: July 14, 2020, 11:57 PM IST
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The Department Related Standing Committee for Information & Technology headed by Shashi Tharoor met today in Parliament. On the agenda was the banning of Chinese apps recently by the government and a few other issues like the safety of public data on Aarogya Setu app widely publicized by the government.

A total of 8 members attended the meeting. Tharoor from Congress, others from BJP Nishikant Dubey, Tejasvi Surya and former information & broadcasting minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Sanjay Seth were amongst those who attended.

The BJP MPs in the meeting lauded Tharoor's tweet where he had supported the Modi government's stand on banning Chinese apps.

In the Committee meet, officials from the IT Ministry & Home Ministry explained to the members the reasons behind the centre's decision to ban these apps.

Sources tell CNN-News18 that IT Ministry said to members that a detailed input came in from the Home Ministry about threat of using the Chinese apps after which the decision was taken.

According to sources, an MP said in the meeting that wouldn't it be a threat because police in states like Gujarat or Maharashtra a lot of criminal data was scanned through Cam Scanner, a Chinese app to scan documents on the phone. BJP MP Nishikant Dubey then intervened and said let China also know what sort of criminals we have in this country and that should actually scare China.

Members also asked officials about their concern about safety of their data on Aarogya Setu app.

Many people had expressed their concern whether their data was safe on the app and whether govt would use it further for other means too.

Time and again the Centre had said the app was safe and foolproof.

Today too the IT Ministry officials explained to the members the steps taken to build and upgrade the app and how it was impossible for citizen data to be compromised. Members seemed to be pretty satisfied with the response of Ministry.

In fact, the Aarogya Setu app has a new feature which allows users to delete their data and accounts from the app permanently. The new feature allows users to delete both personal as well as location information from the contact tracing app upon their desire.

It was on June 29 when the IT Ministry announced the ban on 59 Chinese apps posing a threat to Indian data. Popular apps like TikTok, WeChat, Club Factory, Cam Scanner were among those banned. The government a few days later ensured these apps were banned for Army personnel for the fear of data leak and to prevent soldiers from falling prey to espionage or honey trap.

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