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India to Force Apple to Make Pre-Installed Apps Deletable Under New Smartphone Security Regulations

India to Force Apple to Make Pre-Installed Apps Deletable Under New Smartphone Security Regulations

Under India’s proposed new security rules Apple and other smartphone makers will be forced to allow the removal of pre-installed apps from devices. The new rules will also┬ámandate screening of operating system updates under proposed new security rules, reports Reuters.

India’s IT ministry is considering these new rules amid concerns about spying and abuse of user data, said a senior government official, one of the two people, declining to be named as the information is not yet public.

“Pre-installed apps can be a weak security point and we want to ensure no foreign nations, including China, are exploiting it. It’s a matter of national security,” the government official said.

Smartphone makers will be required to include uninstall functionality for pre-installed apps. New models will be checked for compliance by a lab authorized by the Bureau of Indian Standards agency.

While Apple already allows many of its own pre-installed apps to be removed, core apps like Phone, Messages, and Photos cannot be deleted, only hidden in the App Library.

India has ramped up scrutiny of Chinese businesses following a 2020 border clash between the two companies. The country has banned more than 300 Chinese apps, including TikTok. India has also intensified scrutiny of any investments by Chinese firms.

The Indian government is said to be giving smartphone makers one year to comply with the new rules when they come into effect. Many are concerned that the new rules could delay the launch of new smartphones, leading to business losses.