It seems that not much ‘good days’ are ahead for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Recently, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had alleged that PM NaMo has been supplying data to American companies and here the mediums are none other than the Indians who have signed up for the ‘NAMO app’.
Stirring up the ignite, he had gone ahead a step further, where his tweet read that, “Hi! My name is Narendra Modi. I am India’s PM. When you sign up for my official app, I give all your data to my friends in American companies”.
Hi! My name is Narendra Modi. I am India’s Prime Minister. When you sign up for my official App, I give all your data to my friends in American companies.
Ps. Thanks, mainstream media, you’re doing a great job of burying this critical story, as always.https://t.co/IZYzkuH1ZH
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 25, 2018
However, Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party denied all the allegations and regarded that the data was being used only for analytics to offer all users the “most contextual content”. Also to the tweet by Rahul Gandhi, BJP quickly responded on Twitter, saying Gandhi was trying to divert attention. The BJP has accused the Congress of engaging Cambridge Analytica in India, a charge the opposition party has denied.
To this, the tweet read like, “Contrary to Rahul’s lies, the 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”.
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.
— BJP (@BJP4India) March 25, 2018
Here, a security researcher, who has previously highlighted some vulnerabilities in India’s national identity card project and in fact who tweets under the pseudonym Elliot Alderson, have posted here a series of tweets stating about the app. This states that the app was sending personal user data to a third-party domain that was traced to an American company. His tweet read like, “When you create a profile in the official @narendramodi #Android app, all your device info (OS, network type, Carrier …) and personal data (email, photo, gender, name, …) are sent without your consent to a third-party domain called http://in.wzrkt.com”.
When you create a profile in the official @narendramodi #Android app, all your device info (OS, network type, Carrier …) and personal data (email, photo, gender, name, …) are send without your consent to a third-party domain called https://t.co/N3zA3QeNZO. pic.twitter.com/Vey3OP6hcf
— Elliot Alderson (@fs0c131y) March 23, 2018
Of course, these tweets, which arrived at the juncture when there is heightened sensitivity around the alleged misuse of personal data amid the unfolding Facebook-Cambridge Analytica controversy, definitely triggered a stir in India on social media.
— Elliot Alderson (@fs0c131y) March 25, 2018
Though, right now, nothing has been heard from the man itself, BJP stated that app, which has witnessed about 5 million downloads on the Google Android PlayStore, allows users’ access even in a guest mode that does not require any permission from them.
“The permissions required are all … cause-specific” read the tweet by BJP.