This comes days after the heinous attack by terrorists of Jaish-E-Mohammed (JeM) in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, which left 40 CRPF jawans dead
Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), the economic arm of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking a ban on Chinese social media applications like TikTok, Kwai and LIKE, and telecom companies.
This comes days after the heinous attack by terrorists of Jaish-E-Mohammed (JeM) in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, which left 40 CRPF jawans dead. China has repeatedly blocked India's efforts to get JeM chief Masood Azhar listed as a global terrorist by the UN Security Council, which triggered SJM's protest.
"At such a time, we believe it is imperative that the government create similar hurdles for Chinese companies that are using India for their economic gain. As has been said often, data is now considered the new oil. We should not allow Chinese companies to capture Indian user data without any restrictions and monitoring," SJM said in its letter.
The SJM has said these apps pose a huge business and social risk to India. TikTok, an app which allows its users to create and share short videos, has been downloaded by millions in India, especially in small towns and villages. Recent research shows that the app has over 130 million monthly active users and 24.5 million daily active users in India.
"There are a lot of questions that these apps pose with respect to the Data Protection Bill, some of them being the security, the data storage provision, the personal data of children and most importantly these apps might have recordings that might be sensitive personal data," Swetha Mohandas, policy officer at the Centre for Internet and Society, told The Economic Times.
Even such apps state clearly that they have technical measures in place to protect users' data but they cannot guarantee the security of information you provide to the app. The app still does not have a grievance office in India despite its growing user base, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 cities.Bytedance, the Chinese company which operates the app TikTok, said the firm is committed to complying with local rules and protecting their users' data. It also dismissed the allegations against the app as factually incorrect and said the app has robust measures in place to safeguard its users.