Privacy concerns, Chinese connection surface as Koo app sees surge in downloads; company responds
Privacy concerns, Chinese connection surface as Koo app sees surge in downloads; company responds

India's homegrown microblogging platform Koo has emerged as a favourite among a section of users. The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), the Union Ministry of Railways and some other government departments have already set up accounts on the application. Reportedly, Koo crossed three million downloads in the last 24 hours after it was endorsed by a few ministers.

Meanwhile, French security researcher Robert Baptiste, who goes by the name Elliot Alderson on Twitter, claimed that the app was "leaking" sensitive information of the users like date of birth, marital status, gender etc.

"You asked so I did it. I spent 30 min on this new Koo app. The app is leaking of the personal data of his users: email, dob, name, marital status, gender," tweeted Alderson and posted a screenshot of a user data.

Alderson also shared the Whois record for the domain, which shows that the app is registered in China.

However, Koo Co-founder and CEO Aprameya Radhakrishna has denied that there was any data leak. "Some news about data leaking being spoken about unnecessarily. Please read this: The data visible is something that the user has voluntarily shown on their profile of Koo. It cannot be termed a data leak. If you visit a user profile you can see it anyway," Radhakrishna said in a tweet.

Besides, speaking about the Chinese connection, Radhakrishna took to Twitter and shared another Whois record. It shows the app is registered under Bombinate Technologies, which is Koo’s parent company. "We are an Indian company registered in India and servers are in India," said Radhakrishna.

According to an India Today report, the domain details shared by the French security researcher are a part of the historical ownership of the domain. It also shows to have been created three years and nine months ago and since then has changed hands several times.

"Koo takes pride in being an Indian company with Indian founders and in being registered here. The recent investment in Bombinate Technologies Koo’s parent company was by Mohandas Pai of 3one4 Capital, an Indian investor," Koo told India Today.

"Shunwei, a single-digit shareholder that had invested in Vokal, another start-up of ours which answers user questions in Indian languages, will be exiting fully. Bombinate is the parent company of Vokal and Koo," it added.

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