New Delhi: It is clear that the 2019 general election will be fought in the social media. Within two days of a French cyber expert claiming that Narendra Modi’s app was releasing user information to third party domain(s) without their consent, Rahul Gandhi jumped onto the bandwagon, dragging the PM’s name into the unsavoury controversy.
Baring his intent to ‘name and shame’, the Congress president in a tweet said, “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.” Rahul also accused the mainstream media of “burying this critical story, as always”.
The PMO wasted no time in responding: It released a statement, mocking the Congress and its chief for ‘having zero knowledge of technology’. The statement also gives details of the NaMo app and says:
‘‘Narendra Modi App is a unique App, which 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. For example, a selfie campaign requires access to the camera and/or photo gallery. Contact access is required to connect with friends or fellow party workers on the New India connect module. If a person has entered his email address and date of birth, he receives a personalised birthday greeting from the PM. Each function asks for the specific permission when access is required. The app does not ask for blanket permissions when the app is started.
According to media reports, a French hacker who identifies himself as Elliot Alderson has been tweeting about the loopholes in the security system of the app, and how it is allegedly sending user information, like name, contact address, interests, photo etc. to third-party domains.
Responding Responding to Rahul’s charge, Union Minister of Technology K J Alphons said, “You think Prime Minister is going to give your data to a private company! Don’t believe such fake stories. 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,” the minister said.
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