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Truecaller says ban by Indian Army ‘unjust’


New Delhi:  With the Indian Army asking its personnel to delete 89 apps, Swedish caller identification app Truecaller on Thursday termed its inclusion in the list of the prohibited applications as “unfair” and “unjust”.

The list not only includes Chinese apps like TikTok that have already been banned by the government, but also has popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Zoom and Reddit, among others.

The Indian Army wants its personnel to delete these apps over national security concerns.

“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 its home,” a Truecaller spokesperson said in a statement.

Headquartered in Stockholm, Truecaller provides a suite of services such as a dialer that offers caller ID, spam detection, messaging and more.

“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,” added the statement.

“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,” it added.

Saying its inclusion in the list “unfair” and “unjust”, Truecaller added that it stores all user data in India and all app features are permission-based and disabled by default.

Moreover, a majority of Truecaller employees globally are Indian and the platform does not upload phonebooks or sell user data, it claimed.

In 2019, in a nightmare for thousands of Truecaller users in India, a so-called bug automatically created their Unified Payments Interface (UPI) accounts with the ICICI Bank without their consent, triggering panic and hacking fears.

Truecaller later apologized to the users who were affected by the bug.

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