New Delhi: According to a Reuters report, the Indian government may soon require smartphone manufacturers to permit customers to uninstall pre-installed apps. According to Reuters, which cited two sources and a government document, India may soon propose new security regulations that would require the screening of significant operating system updates.
According to the report, the Indian IT ministry is looking at these new regulations amid worries about espionage and the misuse of user data, according to one of the two senior government officials who declined to be identified because the information is still classified. (Also Read: Gautam Adani’s Son Jeet Adani Gets Engaged In Low-Key Ceremony)
“We want to make sure that no other countries, particularly China, are taking advantage of pre-installed programmes because they can be a weak security point. The issue is one of national security “the representative added. (Also Read: Layoffs 2023: Facebook Parent Meta Slashes Another 10,000 Jobs)
The new regulations may cause pre-installed app sales to decline for players like Samsung, Xiaomi, Vivo, and Apple in the No. 2 smartphone market in the world. There are still some unknowns regarding the new regulations.
Most smartphones at the moment have pre-installed apps that cannot be removed. For instance, Apple’s Safari web browser, the GetApps software store from Xiaomi, and Samsung Pay Mini.
According to two persons with knowledge of the proposal, the new regulations will require smartphone manufacturers to include an uninstall option and to have new models evaluated for compliance by a lab approved by the Bureau of Indian Standards agency.
One of the persons stated that the government is also thinking about making it mandatory to vet every significant operating system upgrade before it is released to users.
According to a confidential government document from a meeting of the IT ministry on February 8 that was seen by Reuters, the majority of cell phones used in India come with pre-installed apps and bloatware that pose substantial privacy and information security issues.
After a border dispute between the two neighbours in 2020, India has blocked more than 300 Chinese apps, including TikTok, increasing its scrutiny of Chinese corporations. Also, it has increased monitoring of Chinese company investments.
The Indian government, according to the report, has agreed to give smartphone manufacturers a year to comply once the law takes effect. The document also stated that the date has not yet been decided.
The request for pre-installed app removal from smartphones would not only come from India. While European Union standards call for the ability to remove pre-installed apps, they do not have a compliance screening system as India is seeking.
(With inputs from Reuters)