Army directs soldiers to delete 89 apps over security concerns

The Indian Army has asked soldiers to delete 89 apps from their smart phones including Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and several apps already banned by the government, people familiar with the developments said.

The apps, including dating apps such as Tinder, OkCupid and Couch Surfing, have been banned for security reasons, they said. The social media apps that are a no-go area for soldiers include messaging platforms, video-hosting sites, gaming and dating apps, and also some e-commerce options.

The apps that are out of bounds for the Indian Army now include WeChat, Viber, Zoom, Vigo Video, Cam Scanner and gaming app PUBG. “Such guidelines are issued periodically. These are more significant now in the context of the current border tensions and the need to secure information,” the officials said.

The apps banned by the army are not limited to the 59 Chinese mobile applications banned by the government. The Chinese apps earlier banned are Club Factory, SHAREit, Likee, Mi Video Call (Xiaomi), Weibo, Baidu and Bigo Live. They have been removed from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store for India. China has strongly reacted to India’s move to ban 59 mobile applications last month, most of which are linked to China. The Indian government’s decision was based on security concerns.