Aware of possible risks associated with online games and gambling: MeitY to Lok Sabha

Chennai: The government is aware of the possible risks and challenges including that of user harms associated with online games and gambling, the ministry of electronics and IT told the Lok Sabha in a written response on Wednesday.

“Online gaming platforms are intermediaries and they have to follow the due diligence as prescribed in the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 and the Rules thereunder. MeitY regulates all the intermediaries as per the IT Act and the Rules therein and does not have any role in the banning of online gaming platforms currently,” it said.

With regard to the 54 Chinese apps that the government banned this year, MeitY said that as per the Ministry of Home Affairs, these apps were collecting various user data and transmitting it in an unauthorized manner to servers abroad for profiling. The Ministry acknowledged that it is possible for data privacy breaches to happen through other apps as well.

It also said that Tek Fog, an app allegedly used to automate hate online and manipulate social media influence is not present at any of the prominent online App Stores and APK stores.

“No technical vulnerability that makes social media intermediaries susceptible to manipulation as reported in the news articles have been reported to or observed by this Ministry,” it added in its response to the query.

The Ministry went on to add that the Government is aware of the risk and danger posed by growing phenomena of dissemination of wrong and hateful information through some social media platforms. It said that the Ministry does not track and monitor Apps or content appearing on social media platforms but said that the government on its part has taken several steps to address this issue – one being the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules, 2021 under the Information Technology (IT) Act.

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