The government of India has also asked the companies to provide details of all ‘unauthorised data access’ by them

New Delhi: New hurdles are surfacing for the 59 apps that were recently banned in India by the government on concerns of privacy. The Union ministry of electronics and information technology (MEITY) has sent a letter to all these banned apps with 79 questions that they need to answer by July 22. The ministry has sought a reply from them failing which they might be banned permanently in India.

The notice issued by MEITY to these apps clearly states that if they do not respond in three weeks then the current ban imposed on them will be deemed permanent.

According to reports, the government on receiving replies from these companies whose apps got banned, their answers would be tallied with the information received from intelligence agencies. Any discrepancies found in the replies may lead to serious trouble for the apps and their companies.

With this new development, hopes of TikTok and 58 other apps making a comeback into the Indian market have gone for a toss.

The exhaustive 79 questions sent to these Chinese companies include seeking details regarding their corporate origin, funding, data management, structure of parent companies, company practices and details of servers being used by them.

The government of India has also asked these companies to provide details of all “unauthorised data access” by them along with the features on their apps that may lead to misuse of personal data for espionage and surveillance activities.

The replies received from the companies will then be forwarded to a special committee set up to look over the matter.

Given the nature of exhaustive questionnare sent to them, chances of these apps seeking a direct hearing with the Centre have also faded.

Meanwhile, TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps have maintained that they have always prioritised the protection of user data and allegations made against them for unauthorised use of personal data are not true.

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