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Indian Muslims must not fall for BiP App

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By: Tahir Qureshi

WhatsApp recently made, some significant changes to the way it manages user data. Once a person (having business account) chooses to accept the new Privacy Policy, it will be an agreement to share a portion of his/her data with Facebook. Since their announcement, WhatsApp has been getting a heavy backlash from WhatsApp users all around the world. Amidst the grave outrage on social media, many audiences decided to abandon the messaging applications and shifted to other alternate applications, including telegram, signal, and BiP. All those alternative applications offer similar features and functionality.

BiP App is one such application software that helps to send messages and activate calls to their friends and family. The BiP App claimed itself as a secure and easy-to-use communication platform available for free. However, the BiP application in reality is a Turkish messaging platform based on BiP AS, created by the Turkcell lletisim Hizmetleri A.S., a leading mobile operator in Turkey. The developer of the rich messaging App BiP has gained widespread popularity amongst Muslims owing to its origin in Turkey. The BiP App is increasing its user base with every passing day. Turkish top institutions, including the Turkish presidency and Defence Ministry, moved their WhatsApp groups to BiP. In Google Play Store, BiP now ranks first in Muslim countries like Bangladesh, Bahrain, Pakistan, Qatar, Oman, and Saudi Arabia etc. It has been downloaded over 65 million times in total.

Two aspects of the BiP must be analysed by every Muslim before arriving at a decision. The first and foremost point of focus is the control of a leading Turkish mobile operator over the App. Secondly, the mass migration of Turkish administration including the president from WhatsApp to BiP. The minute details available about the App shows that the Turkish government is having a backdoor control over the functioning of the App. And if a foreign government is involved in running a particular App, it is a matter of grave concern for every Indian, especially Muslims, as the application is getting popularity without real time information on its origin and the privacy policies. Needless to mention that Turkish President projects himself as a world leader of Muslims and nurtures a hidden desire to bring back Islamic Caliphate. Given the fact that another attempt at establishing Islamic State by terrorist group ISIS resulted in lot of bloodshed and innumerable loss of Muslim lives, the designs and desires of Turkish President should be worrying for all, particularly the Muslims.

An App whose privacy policies and ownership details are yet to be clarified on a global level must certainly be installed carefully. There can be many vested interests behind development of the App. The users of the App may be-exploited by the masters at later stage for their own benefits. Whatever the outcome may be, the end user is bound to suffer.

The Indian Muslims must not fall for the trap created in the BiP App like other Muslim countries are falling. The data of Indian Muslim users can be breached anytime, which could push them into colossal trouble. There are chances that their data can be used by the extremist organization which would eventually put them on the radar of Indian intelligence agencies/law enforcement agencies. They can further be subjected to fraudulent bank activities as well for extortion by criminals.

It is therefore expected from the Indian Muslims that they decide and choose wisely. By falling prey to Apps like BiP, which have no known or publicised privacy policies, that will be making themselves vulnerable to exploitation repercussions of which can well be imagines.



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