- Content and services in India are being localised but terms and conditions for consent aren’t always in a local language.
- Rakesh Deshmukh, co-founder and CEO of Indus OS, points out that non-English language internet users aren’t always tech-savvy.
- This puts them at risk of giving away data without realising it.
Localising content in India is a big trend. For most first-time internet users in India, English is not their first language — it’s not even their second. Global brands like Google, Netflix, and Amazon are already on the path to diversification by offering Indian users multiple local language options.
While there the quantity of local content is growing, the same can’t be said about consent. English-speaking users don’t necessarily read all the terms and conditions when giving permissions to apps. When the fine print is in a foreign language and filled with technical details, the problem gets compounded when it extends to local languages.
Local users aren’t always the most tech-savvy individuals according to Rakesh Deshmukh, co-founder and CEO of Indus OS and the Indus App Bazaar— the largest indigenous app store in India. It currently has over 50 million users with plans to hit 100 million by the end of the year.
“They might not be able to understand the permission that applications are asking for and giving those permissions away could harm them,” he told Business Insider in an interview.
The power to change things lies with regulators and developers
The Indus App Bazaar has two layers of security checks in play. One is its own internal review, and second is the security layer provided by Google.
“For our own internal security, we conduct audits to check that all the data is secure. Then there’s the Android Security Framework which prevents malware applications from being installed,” explains Deshmukh.
Even internally, there are three sub-levels — an anti-virus check, an internal review team and proprietary tools to identify malicious apps or fake applications. Despite these safeguards, it is possible for data breaches to occur, which is why prevention is generally considered to be the best cure.
“Larger stakeholders here are the regulatory body and the developers. From the app store point of view, if the app is malicious — we can blackball it. But we don’t have control over what applications are doing with the data once users have given their consent — that is beyond our purview,” said Deshmukh.
Which is why it’s so important to learn about cyber threats and the cybersecurity basics before accessing the internet, like ensuring you have your own anti-virus in place and only giving access permissions to applications that you’re sure that you can trust.