PUBG Ban: Essential or Just a Smokescreen?

PUBG Mobile, the ulta popular Battle Royal game has finally been banned in India after months of speculation. The decision has been taken to increase the cybersecurity of the country. The government said, “the move is in the interest of India’s sovereignty and integrity, defence and security, the government said in a statement.”

The statement from the government read, “The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures”.

Why was PUBG Banned?

The CCP or the Chinese Communist Party that rules China has made certain laws that leave individuals and companies with very few privacy rights. The party is so powerful that they could ask any Chinese company to share user data and company would have to do it. Since the tension between Indian and China is high at the moment with border combats between soldiers occurring every few weeks, India decided to make the security a little tighter. Hence the PUBG and other 200 or so apps banned.

Is it Necessary?

Cyberthreat is a major issue these days. With countries becoming more dependent on the internet getting a person’s data becomes very easy. TikTok has been accused of getting personal information of prominent leaders in the US through their children’s videos. Just imagine how much information can a person get through a TikTok user who has been uploading regular videos. From their daily routine to their home’s security as well as the data about the whole family can be known through TikTok videos. This is why TikTok was banned from India and so are other Chinese apps.

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Or is it just a smokescreen?

The fact that PUBG shares its data with the Chinese government is indeed worrisome but so are the apps that come preinstalled in Mi, Realme and other Chinese phones. These phones have photos, cloud, mail and other apps that are pre-installed by the company. Those apps use the cloud services of the mobile company itself and not Google. If PUBG could share data then so could these companies. Dream 11, the betting company that has won advertisement rights to this year’s IPL is funded by the same Tencent that owns PUBG. One has been banned while the other has been awarded rights to the biggest T20 League in the world.

Since there are other big cybersecurity risks present, just banning PUBG seems like a smokescreen to me. Just a day before the ban, India’s GDP decline was put in front of the whole world. A -24% in Q3 should be embarrassing for India and for the Indian government. The casual Indian way of doing things means that we did not benefit from the lockdown in curbing coronavirus cases and have also broken the economy in the process. The media was busy solving Sushant Singh Rajput’s case on their own and now they’ve been handed another toy in the name of PUBG ban.

Real issues you ask? What real issues!