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”.
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.
“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.