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Parliamentary panel recommends new rules for app stores to curb cyber frauds

The parliamentary committee proposed mandating app stores to share “exhaustive metadata” and other information about all apps they host on their platform.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance on July 27 presented its report on cybersecurity and cybercrimes to the parliament, proposing various cybersecurity policy recommendations for the Indian government to consider, among which are the following measures targeted at app stores (Google Play, Apple App Store, etc.) and operating systems (Android, iOS, Windows, etc): Mandate app stores to share metadata and other pertinent info about all apps: The Committee proposed "mandating app stores to share exhaustive metadata and pertinent information about all the apps they host on their platforms." It reasoned that "this data repository will empower regulators to conduct in-depth analysis, identify potential security vulnerabilities, and institute appropriate measures to fortify the digital landscape." More stringent vetting of apps: App Stores should "enforce a stringent vetting process for application approvals within their app stores, encompassing thorough malware detection and compliance with privacy and data security regulations," the Committee recommended. Verifying developer identity and enabling traceability of app origin: The Committee further recommended specific guidelines and standards for app stores for "verification of developer identities, and the provision of traceability information, such as app ownership and origin." The Committee reasoned that "this can effectively enable the tracing of fraudulent apps’ origins and prevent cyber criminals from engaging in repeated offenses." Regular updates to operating systems to address vulnerabilities: The Committee recommended that tech companies should "bear the responsibility of regularly updating and patching their operating systems (OS) to address vulnerabilities and incorporate robust security features." Promote user education and awareness: Tech companies…

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