Jio Chat confirm that No data travels outside of India from Jio Chat servers

Hacker group Anonymous India has alleged that the Reliance Jio Infocomm chat app, Jio Chat, is sending user data to a Chinese IP, compromising privacy and security of all users of the app, claims which were refuted by the Mukesh Ambani-owned company.

Through a series of tweets through its Twitter handle @AnonOpsIndia, the hacking group, which had brought down the website of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India late April, claimed that Jio's app was made by developers n China.

"Over 500k mobile data taken by China made Reliance Jio app. Hosting by Chinese too," one of the tweets read.

In a statement, Jio rejected the claims, and assured users of Jio Chat that full care is taken to protect their privacy and security.

"All Jio Chat data and associated servers are hosted physically in Reliance Jio data centres in India. No data travels outside of India from Jio Chat servers," Jio said.

It added that Jio Chat is developed by developers across the world, including India.

Occasionally these developers use their native language while writing comments within the AndroidApplication Package (APK) to better understand the problem, Jio said.

"The analysis published is by an inexperienced novice who either does not understand the APK coding or has deliberately tried to sensationalise the issue by conveniently highlighting irrelevant portions of the APK script," Jio said.

Awebsite had said that AnonOpsIndia had decompiled the chat application's APK file, and found references of a Chinese IP address. "They also decompiled another file from the app, and found the references of the same Chinese app via strings written in Chinese language."

Jio said that as part of standard development practices, the code base has reference to a number of servers, in the comment area.

"This is not executable code, meaning these references are not used by the application while running. Proper and complete examination of the code would show that the app does not transfer data to any servers outside of India," Jio said.

It added that within the developer community, it is well understood that decompiled snippets of code is not indicative of how the application actually functions with respect to end users and associated data transfer.

Responding to concerns that Jio was using Chinese maps for its location-based services, Jio said that chat is a global application.

Since China does not support Google Maps, for location-based services within China, a Chinese-based mapping service is required.

"This is a common practice for any app wishing to provide location based services within China," Jio said, adding however, that when used outside of China, Jio Chat (outside of China) always uses Google Maps.


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