Amid growing security concerns, the Indian Army has directed its troops to delete 89 smartphone applications.
The decision comes after the government’s ban on 59 Chinese applications, and it affects several popular services operating in India, including social media apps Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, video app Zoom, dating app Tinder, and battle royale title PUBG.
Here are all the details.
Move to plug leakage of information
ANI’s sources familiar with the developments within the Indian Army say that troops have been asked to delete 89 popular smartphone apps to “plug leakage of information.”
“Such guidelines are issued periodically. These are more significant now in the context of the current border tensions and the need to secure information,” other officials told Hindustan Times, confirming the development.
Apps banned across a range of categories
The apps red-flagged by the Army include services across categories ranging from messaging, microblogging, and social networking to video calling, dating, streaming, shopping, and gaming.
Most of the apps are not that popular or already banned under the Government of India’s crackdown on Chinese apps, but there are also some that do not come from Chinese companies and are heavily used in India.
These popular apps are going away
The popular non-Chinese applications that fell on the chopping block of the Indian Army are social media services Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and Snapchat; video app Zoom, messaging apps Hike, Viber, LINE, ShareChat, IMO, and dating apps Tinder, TrulyMadly, OkCupid, Hinge, and Bumble.
Among others, all Tencent games, including PUBG, Mobile Legends, TrueCaller, GearBest, Hungama, POPxo, and Zapya are also going away.
Here’s the complete list
Indian Army has asked its personnel to delete 89 apps from their smartphones including Facebook, TikTok, Truecaller and Instagram to plug leakage of information: Indian Army Sources pic.twitter.com/l23Lu5ndNh
— ANI (@ANI) July 8, 2020
A week to delete the apps
Notably, the troops of the 13-lakh strong Indian Army have about a week to delete all these apps. The apps have to be removed from their devices by July 15.
To note, the 59 Chinese apps that were banned by the Government of India over a week ago have already been removed by app stores and made inaccessible by telcos.
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