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Truecaller asserts app safe after Army flags it for leaking data

The Indian Army has asked its personnel to uninstall Truecaller among 89 other apps to avoid leakage of information.Premium
The Indian Army has asked its personnel to uninstall Truecaller among 89 other apps to avoid leakage of information.

  • The company termed its inclusion in the list disappointing, unfair and unjust and emphasized upon the company's Swedish roots
  • Truecaller said it stores all user data within India, does not upload phonebooks or sell user data and majority of its employees are of Indian origin

NEW DELHI: Truecaller on Tuesday asserted that its app is safe for use by the public as well as military personnel after the Indian Army added it in the list of 89 banned apps. The company termed its inclusion in the list disappointing and unfair, and emphasized upon its Swedish roots.

The Indian Army has asked its personnel to uninstall Truecaller among 89 other apps to avoid leakage of information. Besides the 59 Chinese apps that had already been banned by the government for privacy and security reasons, the Army has prohibited its personnel from using several popular social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, and Snapchat; games like PUBG Mobile and Clash of Kings; and video conferencing app Zoom.

"It is disappointing and saddening to learn that Truecaller is among the list of 89 apps being banned by the Indian Armed Forces for their personnel. Truecaller is an app of Swedish origin that considers India it's home. We also have immense respect for the Armed Forces and we stand in solidarity with them and the Indian government," a Truecaller spokesperson said in a statement.

"We would like to reiterate that Truecaller remains safe to use, both for our citizens and for our esteemed armed forces personnel. We see no reason for Truecaller to be on this list and will investigate the matter further. Truecaller provides a vital service for over 170 million people in India, identifying and blocking hundreds of millions of spam calls and SMS every single day. Our inclusion in this list is unfair and unjust," the statement added.

Truecaller said it stores all user data within India, does not upload phonebooks or sell user data and majority of its employees are of Indian origin. Also, the app's features seek user permission before any access and are disabled by default.

Indian defence forces have time and again cautioned their personnel to avoid certain apps and phones if there is a risk of data leakage through them.

In 2014, Indian Air Force had asked its personnel and their families not to use Xiaomi phones after an investigation by cybersecurity firm F-Secure showed that the phones were forwarding data such as device's IMEI number, contact numbers from phone book, text messages and phone number to remote servers in China.

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