Chinese smartphone maker Oppo said that the user data on its devices in India is fully secure, highlighting that it collects and uses personal information in full compliance with current laws and users’ permission, and added that its server was based in Singapore. Oppo, India’s No. 4 smartphone maker, is the first company to officially comment after the government asked nearly 30 handset makers that sell phones in India, most of which are Chinese, to share the security protocols they follow to secure mobile phones, triggered by fears of alleged data misuse especially by companies which have servers based in China. “As a global smartphone maker, Op po recognizes the importance of data privacy of the customers and takes it earnestly. Every effort is made to collect and use personal data in full compliance with the current data privacy laws by the government and users’ permission,” the smartphone maker said in a statement on Monday. The China-headquartered company, which has a 9.6% share of India’s smartphone market as of June, added that its server partner was Amazon Web Service (AWS) which complies with privacy protection rules of Singapore, where the server is located. “Oppo provides worry-free guardian towards personal data saved on AWS. Oppo or any third party cannot hack information from this server,” it added, indirectly assuring the government and consumers. The company added that the built-in anti-virus software from Avast that protects users’ security and privacy from being attacked, updates the virus database constantly to improve tracking of potential threats. The company’s comments came on the back of ministry of electronics and IT directing 30 handset makers to share protocols used by them by August 28 to ensure the security of mobile phones sold in the country. Others are yet to make any comments or even share details with the IT ministry, sources aware of the matter said. The ministry’s diktat comes amid border tension between India and China, besides concern over rising imports of IT and telecom products from the neighbouring country on the grounds that much of it may be used to gain unlawful access to critical information. Chinese handset makers led by Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Lenovo and Gionee have cornered over half of India’s around $10 billion smartphone market. The government has said that it will verify the details provided and warned of action if it is revealed that some have failed to meet security requirements. Under the IT Act, a company has to make sure that it keeps the data of users safe. Violations can be punished by unlimited compensation and penalties of `. 5 crore through state-level arbitrators. The government is of the view that smartphones play a vital role in the government’s Digital India programme, having achieved 65-75% penetration and that people “place their trust in the convenience and productivity offered by these devices.” Securing them was therefore essential.