Caller identification app Truecaller on Thursday said that it was not a spyware after the Intelligence Bureau reportedly asked troops to delete some 40 Chinese mobile apps to avoid a possible cyber attack.
According to reports, the Intelligence Bureau had issued an advisory on November 24 asking troops to delete apps like WeChat, Truecaller, Weibo, UC Browser and UC News from their phones.
“We’d like to clarify Truecaller is a Swedish company,” it said on Twitter. “We’re unsure why the app is mentioned [in the reports], but we’re investigating. Truecaller isn’t spyware & all features are permission-based and disabled by default.”
Meanwhile, Truecaller and other over-the-top service providers have opposed any move to impose regulations on them, the Economic Times reported. An over-the-top application, such as WhatsApp or Skype, is an app or service that provides a product over the internet and bypasses telecommunication companies and network operators.
“It [any regulation] virtually kills many promising entities,” the daily quoted Kari Krishnamurthy, the Vice President of Brand and Partnerships at Truecaller, as saying. We need to support an open internet. That spirit should always be maintained.”
Industry bodies such as the Cellular Operators Association of India, however, reasoned that OTT apps offer the same services as the telecom companies do and hence the same rules should apply to both. The companies want the service providers to pay the same levies that they do and follow the rules on security, lawful interception and quality of service.