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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Union Minister Alphons KJ dismisses Narendra Modi app data leak allegations as ‘fake stories’

Alphons KJ, who is the Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology, said the reports of data theft via Narendra Modi app were fake.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: March 25, 2018 6:28:04 pm
Narendra Modi app, Narendra Modi app data theft, Aadhaar, KJ Alphonso, Modi app user data, Aadhaar data leak, Indian Express Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam dismissed concerns of data theft calling the reports on Narendra Modi app fake stories. (PTI/File)

Union Minister of State Alphons KJ on Sunday dismissed the recent allegations of data leak via Narendra Modi app as “fake stories”. “You think Prime Minister is going to give your data to a private company! Don’t believe such fake stories,” the Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology was quoted as saying by ANI.

PM Modi often uses the Narendra Modi app — his personal mobile application — to request feedback and interact with the public. On Saturday, French security researcher Elliot Alderson took to Twitter to claim that the app shares private information of users to a third-party US company Clever Tap without their consent.

The allegations — which come close on the heels of the Cambridge Analytica leaks — caused outrage on social media spilling over to the political arena as well. Earlier today, Congress president Rahul Gandhi also took to Twitter to claim that PM Modi was giving the data shared by app users to his “friends in American companies”.

Related | Aadhaar database safe, no truth in reports of breach, UIDAI clarifies

While these claims of data theft were echoing on social media, another story unfolded which reported an alleged data leak on a system run by a state-owned utility company which allows access to private information of Aadhaar holders — exposing their names, their unique 12-digit identity numbers, and their bank details.

Addressing these concerns, Alphons said on Sunday, “What is given in Aadhaar are just name and address. Your biometric data is with UIDAI and let me assure you that it has not been breached, it’s absolutely secure. We have given authorisation to government agencies to access Aadhaar information.” A day earlier, the Union minister also questioned those who have no qualms about sharing their “fingerprints and iris” in a foreign country.

Read more |  Indians have no trouble giving biometrics for US visa but voice privacy fears at home: Union Minister Kannanthanam

“We have absolutely no problems going and putting our fingerprints and the iris and getting your whole body naked before the white man at all. We have no problem. But when the government of India, which is your government, asks you your name and your address, nothing more, there’s a massive revolution in the country saying it’s an intrusion into the privacy of the individual. I mean, how far can we go? Let the Supreme Court decide,” Kannanthanam said.

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