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MeitY issues notice to TikTok and Helo, threatens with ban if questions not answered by July 22

Screenshots from TikTok App

On July 17, MeitY's Cyber Laws and e-Security wing issued a notice to TikTok and Helo, asking them to respond to concerns that they were being used to commit anti-India and unlawful activities, Business Today reported. The ministry has sent the platforms a list of questions and warned them that they may face action or be banned if the ministry doesn't get an appropriate response. The questionnaire covered a range of issues, including unauthorised data sharing, anti-national activities on the platform, and Helo paying a huge sum for putting 11,000 morphed political ads on other social media platforms. The notices are in response to RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch's letter to the prime minister that called for a ban on the two apps, claiming that TikTok had become a hub for “anti-national content” that was capable of disrupting the “fabric of our society”. In a joint statement to MediaNama, TikTok and Helo said "we take our responsibilities to this community seriously and welcome this opportunity to fully collaborate with the Government to meet and exceed our obligations". The ministry has asked the app makers to submit their response to the questions on or before July 22, 2019. MeitY has asked the apps the following in the questionnaire: Whether the apps are collecting excessive data, and what type of data they're collecting, Whether data is being stored in China, and How the apps can ensure that the data will not be transferred to a foreign government, third party, or private entity…

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