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UC Browser Reportedly Under Government Scanner for Sending Data to China


UC Browser, the most popular mobile browser in India, is reportedly being probed by the government for sending data from Indian users out of the country. According to Business Standard, "a government lab in Hyderabad is probing how Alibaba-owned UC Browser can send user details and location data to a remote server".

According to reports, UC Browser sends data including device's IMEI number and location data to a server in China on connecting to a Wi-Fi network.

In May 2015, a a Canadian technology research group reported that Alibaba Group Holding Ltd paid more than $1 billion for leaking sensitive user data and said that is a privacy risk. Citizen Lab said Chinese and English-language versions of UC Browser made easily available to third parties personally identifiable information like location, search details and mobile subscriber and device numbers.

Last week, the government also asked all smartphone companies, majority of them Chinese manufacturers, to outline the procedures and processes adopted by them to ensure security and privacy of users' data.

Mobile manufacturers and software providers have a long history of tracking users, without always disclosing the fact. Even when it's disclosed, the amount of data being collected is often a lot more than users realize, so UC Browser would not be unique in this. However, with tensions between India and China at a high right now, it perhaps explains why there is scrutiny relating to any app sending data to the latter country.

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