CONGRESS PRESIDENT Rahul Gandhi on Sunday took to Twitter to launch an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over alleged data theft through the official NaMo App. The BJP hit back, accusing Rahul of lying and said the data is being used for only analytics using third party service. It added that analytics on user data is done to offer users contextual content.
Targeting the Prime Minister, Rahul tweeted, “Hi! My name is Narendra Modi. I am India’s Prime Minister. When you sign up for my official App, I give all your date to my friends in American companies.”
In a counter attack, BJP’s official handle stated, “Narendra Modi App is a unique App, which is unlike most Apps, gives access to users in ‘guest mode’ without even any permission or data. The permissions required are all contextual and cause-specific… Contrary to Rahul’s lies, fact is that data is being used for only analytics using third party service, similar to Google Analytics. Analytics on the user data is done for offering users the most contextual content.”
It added: “This ensures that a user gets the best experience by showing content in his language & interests. A person who looks up agri-related info will get agri related content easily.”
The war of words came against the backdrop of the misuse of Facebook data by British firm Cambridge Analytica. The data mining and analysis firm has come under the scanner for alleged breach of Facebook user data. The Indian government has now sought information about its clients in India and whether it had harvested their user profiles. Ovleno Business Intelligence, the India partner of Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, Strategic Communications Laboratories, mentioned BJP, Congress and JD(U) as its clients on its website, which was taken down earlier this week. Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has accused Congress of having links with Cambridge Analytica. The Congress has denied the allegation and claimed that the BJP and its ally in Bihar, JD(U), engaged the data firm in elections, including the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
In his tweet on Sunday, Rahul attached a news report stating that French vigilante hacker Elliot Alderson has purportedly alleged that data was stolen from his official App — NaMo App — without consent of the users. Reacting to Rahul’s tweet, the BJP said: “Rahul Gandhi is in sublime form these days. After MRI & NCC, today he exposes his great knowledge about technology. He is so rattled by the Cambridge Analytica expose that he daily tries to divert attention from it, yesterday it was the judiciary and today it Namo App.”
Accusing Congress of stealing data, the BJP said, “Rahul Gandhi truly shows why he and his party have zero knowledge of technology. All they do is scare the masses about technology while they continue to steal data using ‘Brahmastra’ of Cambridge Analytica.”