wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Will Google offer its free VPN service on Pixel phones in India?

Google will offer its VPN service for free with Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro but it is unlikely that the India market will get it

Google’s new flagships series, Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, will come with free access to the VPN (Virtual Private Network) service from Google One, according to a press release from Google. The feature is otherwise packed with the premium plan of Google One — the company’s cloud storage service. However, Google has said that users will have to subscribe to the plan to access other features.

Furthermore, Google has confirmed that these models will be available in India (at Rs. 59,999 and Rs. 84,999 respectively) unlike the company’s previous models which did not get an India launch.


FREE READ of the day by MediaNama: Click here to sign-up for our free-read of the day newsletter delivered daily before 9 AM in your inbox.


Why it matters: It makes for an interesting announcement given India’s latest cybersecurity guidelines which directs service providers to maintain information on customers for five years. But it remains to be seen whether the company offers the service in the country given that the announcement carried a whole bunch of caveats in the tweet.

What does it offer: The feature adds an extra layer of protection from hackers and makes it difficult for them to monitor your phones. It will encrypt the phone’s online activity, the help page explained.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

It also helps users hide their IP address which prevents others from tracking their location.

When will it be launched: The company said that the phones will go on sale from October 13 but did not provide an exact date for its VPN service. It is likely that the feature will arrive towards the end of 2022, as per a report from 9to5Google.

Will it be available in India: The company has not revealed whether the service will be available in India but one of the caveats clarified that the service will not be available in all the countries.

  • A cursory scan of the VPN service’s help page reveals that its VPN service is only offered in a handful of countries across the world. The page stated that the service is available in only 22 countries—
    • Austria
    • Australia
    • Belgium
    • Canada
    • Denmark
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Iceland
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Mexico
    • Netherlands
    • Norway
    • South Korea
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • Taiwan
    • United Kingdom
    • United States
  • It means that it is unlikely that Google will be offering VPN access to Pixel users in India. It is not clear why India is not a market in which Google offers its VPN service but it will not be far-fetched to assume that the Central government’s contentious guidelines may have a role to play here.
  • The guidelines have made it difficult for VPN providers to operate in the country with many of them making a beeline towards the exit door.

Are there competition concerns: It is no secret that Google has been facing regulatory scrutiny over antitrust concerns across the world including India.

  • The availability of the feature in all Pixel phones is likely to make other VPN providers anxious given how Google has dealt with phone manufacturers and developers for its Android operating system and Chrome browser. The regulators may want to keep a close eye because of Google’s past behaviour.

Understanding India’s cybersecurity guidelines: The new cybersecurity directive was issued by the Indian government’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) on April 28 and covers aspects related to the timeframe for reporting cybersecurity incidents, synchronisation of system clocks, maintenance of logs, maintenance of KYC and transaction information for crypto exchanges, and maintenance of detailed customer information for VPN, cloud service, data centre providers. The directive was criticised by cybersecurity and privacy experts, VPN providers, and tech companies for a long list of reasons.


This post is released under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 license. Please feel free to republish on your site, with attribution and a link. Adaptation and rewriting, though allowed, should be true to the original.

Also read:

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

I cover several beats such as Crypto, Telecom, and OTT at MediaNama. I can be found loitering at my local theatre when I am off work consuming movies by the dozen.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

Studying the 'community' supporting the late Sushant Singh Rajput (SSR) shows how Twitter was gamed through organized engagement

News

Do we have an enabling system for the National Data Governance Framework Policy (NDGFP) aiming to create a repository of non-personal data?

News

A viewpoint on why the regulation of cryptocurrencies and crypto exchnages under 2019's E-Commerce Rules puts it in a 'grey area'

News

India's IT Rules mandate a GAC to address user 'grievances' , but is re-instatement of content removed by a platform a power it should...

News

There is a need for reconceptualizing personal, non-personal data and the concept of privacy itself for regulators to effectively protect data

You May Also Like

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ