Alibaba’s UC browser is under the radar of IT officials because of alleged theft of data from Indian users. The internet browser has been accused of stealing and transferring stolen data to remote servers in China.
A Serious Case of Privacy Breach and Data Theft
Alibaba owned UC Browser is an internet browsing app that has over 100 million users in India and Indonesia. Reports have been surfaced that UC Browser is involved in stealing of data from the user’s mobile phone and then sharing it with its server in China. The issue is of serious concern as UC Browser is used by millions of people in India and many mobile phones come with an automatic installed UC app. One of the official stated that even if you uninstall UC browser, it is still capable of retrieving data from DNS of user’s device which is subject of worrying.
The official said that if the charge gets proved that UC browser is stealing data then it will face permanent ban in India. Presently, UC Browser is part of Alibaba’s mobile service group. Alibaba has already invested in e-wallet PayTM and also in e-commerce company Snapdeal. By the end of June 2017, UC browser has become the second most used internet browsing app after Google Chrome and has a market share worth of 46%.
According to the reports of University of Toronto, UC Browser has been sharing vulnerabilities of users, their secret details like bank details, card number, PIN code, phone numbers, passwords and other information that are subject to privacy in China. China has been accused of spying and surveillance by using its electronic gadgets.
UC Browser – Not an Isolated Case
Though the Center for Development of Advanced Study in Hyderabad is investigating this case but this is not an isolated case. China has been many times accused of stealing information and conducting surveillance using electronic gadgets. Many Chinese mobile phones have been accused of stealing data and sharing it with China. This matter is of serious concerns for India as India is hugely dependent on China for electronic gadgets including smartphones. Presently, Apple iPhones are assembled in China. Many other Chinese mobile companies are active in India including Xiaomi, Gionee, Vivo, Lenovo and Oppo. There are many other companies that are active in Computer technology, telecom, and data mining industry.
Amid tensions between India and China, it is a case of importance. Earlier, India has directed 21 mobile companies including many from China to share their security info or face action. One should know that India has been vulnerable in this sector and if tension between India and China escalates, China will use cyber warfare to attack India and this may have severe consequences.