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Cybersecurity: Apple, Google block international e-SIM apps

*Global technology giants Apple and Google ban two e-SIM apps, Airalo and Holafly, from their app stores, following cybersecurity issues reported by the Indian Government’s Department of Telecommunications

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

Citing reported cybersecurity issues, the two global technology giants Apple and Google have blocked two e-SIM apps, Airalo and Holafly, from their app stores, following a recent Indian Government’s directive.

ConsumerConnect learnt the Big Techs blocked Airalo and Holafly apps, which sell e-SIMs for multiple countries and regions, sequel to the directives from the Indian Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

The government took the measure to ban the apps after the authorities said they found that fraudsters were exploiting unauthorised e-SIMs with international phone numbers for cybercrimes and defrauding consumers.

Subsequently, the DoT has also instructed Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and telecoms companies to block access to Web sites associated with these the banned apps in the country’s digital ecosystem.

Meanwhile, Apple and Google complied with the regulatory directive, as both Airalo and Holafly were removed from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store in India, ET tech report said.

On international e-SIM services

Providers of e-SIM services, which offer digital SIM cards for voice calls and Internet data without requiring a physical SIM card, are required to obtain a no-objection certificate (NoC) from the DoT.

On the flip side, other e-SIM providers, such as Nomad e-SIM and aloSIM, remain accessible for consumers in India to download and use through these app stores, according to report.

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