GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS
DEPARTMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 543
TO BE ANSWERED ON 14th DECEMBER, 2018
COLLECTION AND TRANSMISSION OF DATA BY CHINESE MOBILE HANDSETS
Will the Minister of COMMUNICATIONS be pleased to state:
(a) whether Government is aware that the Chinese mobile handsets sold in the country may be covertly and illegally collecting consumer data and transmitting them back to the vendors based in China; and
(b) if so, the steps taken by Government to scrutinise these Chinese products before they are sold to Indian consumers since they represent a serious national security threat?
THE MINISTER OF STATE (IC) OF THE MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS &
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
(SHRI MANOJ SINHA)
(a) to (b) There had been reports in the media on data leaks from mobile phones, in general. The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had earlier requested mobile manufactures to furnish details about the safety and security practices, architecture, frameworks and standards followed and implemented to ensure the security and safety of these devices. On evaluation by the Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification unit of MeitY, the data being shared was found to be encrypted so it was difficult to find out what information gets shared. Further, in the terms and conditions, mobile manufactures had declared that the user data is used for their internal consumption for improving performance and usability. The mobile phones also use applications that seek permission from user for sharing the data which is shared on the grant of permission.