Shereen Bhan caught up with Cyber law experts and spokespersons of both BJP and Congress Party to discuss the data breach issue.
India's top two political parties are in the midst of a data slugfest. On Friday last week, the French hacker who goes by the twitter handle Elliot Alderson, alleged in a series of tweets that the Narendra Modi App was sending user data to a third party app in the US without the consent of the users. This personal data includes e-mail ids, photos, gender and names of the users. The French security researcher alleged that an American company called Clever Tap was getting the personal data of the Narendra Modi App users.
What followed was a series of tweets from Rahul Gandhi who accused the Prime Minister of "giving away" the data of those who downloaded the app to what he called are the "Prime Minister's friends in American companies."
Not just that-- Gandhi went on to allege that the Narendra Modi app "secretly records video and audio and tracks people's location via GPS."
The BJP responded to Rahul Gandhi saying that he is trying to divert attention from the Cambridge Analytica issue.
But it's important to note that before the tweets from Alderson the website associated with the Narendra Modi App said, "your personal information and contact details shall remain confidential and shall not be used for any purpose other than our communication with you." but was later changed to say, "certain user information may be shared with third party services to "offer a better user experience" and that "information shared with third parties includes name, email, mobile phone number, device information, location & network carrier."
Meanwhile, textile minister Smriti Irani hit back at Rahul Gandhi. Referring to him as "Chhota Bheem"--- a popular cartoon character. She defended that the app only asks for information that is "commonly asked" on other apps. She went on to say that this is not "tantamount to snooping."
Here is an interesting twist--- just hours after Rahul Gandhi's tweets, the Congress party took down its own app from the Google Playstore--- this after the same online hacker who targeted the BJP, accused the Congress of sending personal user data to "Singapore."
Divya Spandana of Congress Social Media Cell said that the Congress Party's App is being used for social media updates alone since transitioning the membership to the website. She went on to clarify, "the party was "forced to remove the app from the Playstore as the wrong URL was being circulated & people were being misled."
Both the congress and the Bhartiya Janta Party held press conferences today to drive home their point.Shereen Bhan caught up with Cyber law experts and spokespersons of both BJP and Congress Party to discuss the issue.