India's the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Wednesday said it has asked 21 smartphone makers across the world — of which majority are Chinese — to share the security procedures and processes they have undertaken to ensure security of mobile phone devices.
A senior official at the ministry said the government has taken this step to ensure that mobile phone users have assured data privacy in the wake of reports of data leakage and theft both domestically as well as abroad.
The government has asked the companies to furnish the information by August 28 next.
“There have been some reports that some mobile phones leak data. The government is taking all steps to see how that leakage of data can be prevented,” the official said.
“The first step in that direction is that we have asked the mobile companies to inform us what are the security procedures and processes that have been taken by them to ensure the security of the data of the users and their privacy… We want to make sure that any device that is sold in the country should be safe.”
The official mentioned that the scope of security measures verification will include the device, its operating system, the pre-loaded applications that it comes with, and also the browser of the device.
The IT ministry said there will be unlimited compensation depending on the extent of damage caused.
According to the IT Act, Section 43(A), a ‘body corporate’ is accountable to protect the privacy of data of the users and it is their responsibility to make sure that they take reasonable security measures and these provisions have to be complied with.
The testing and verification of devices will be done in the country itself, the official said adding that the government is upgrading testing facilities in the existing labs and additional capabilities are being created for further testing.
At present, there are around 20 crore units of mobile phones in circulation in the country.