The process followed in the recent ban on 118 mobile applications by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology lacked transparency, the Free Software Foundation — Tamil Nadu (FSFTN) has said. Only a stringent data protection law and not arbitrary ban could be the solution, it said in a statement on Monday, adding that ‘Made in India’ applications did not mean that they were safe in terms of privacy. It alleged that though many factors such as privacy, security and data transmission across borders were cited as reasons for the ban, a number of other similar applications had not been banned. “The process involved in selecting the applications for the ban lacked transparency on the whole,” it said.
The foundation said the focus should be on developing a strong data protection law to regulate the technology companies, and collection and handling of data by mobile applications.