The 1.3 million Indian Army has directed all personnel to remove 89 apps, including Facebook and Instagram, from their mobile phones by July 15.
The order was issued to prevent leakage of sensitive information and also due to security considerations, an Army source said on Thursday. The apps also include the 59 Chinese apps banned by the government recently.
While the Army has in past issued several directives on the use of Facebook and also asked its personnel to limit the use of WhatsApp for official work, the present directive is much broader covering a range of apps across domains like messaging, content sharing, web browsers, video hosting, gaming, e-commerce, dating, anti-virus, news and music among others.
There have been several cases of personnel being virtually honeytrapped on social media platforms, leading to sharing of sensitive information.
Responding to the Army ban, Truecaller said in a statement that it was disappointing and saddening to learn that Truecaller was among the list of 89 apps being banned by the Indian armed forces for their personnel.
It called the inclusion in the list as “unfair and unjust.”
“We would like to reiterate that Truecaller remains safe to use, both for our citizens and for our esteemed armed forces personnel. We see no reason for Truecaller to be on this list and will investigate the matter further,” a Truecaller spokesperson said.
Truecaller provided a vital service to over 170 million people in India, identifying and blocking hundreds of millions of spam calls and SMS every single day, the spokesperson added.