July 10th, 2017
Multiple Reliance Jio users last night reported that a website named Magicapk had access to data of existing customers.
— SANJAY BAFNA (@sanjaybafna) July 9, 2017
Jio's claim that the data in the leak appears unauthentic is bullshit. Multiple people, including me, have verified https://t.co/UlErjOtktf
— Nikhil Pahwa (@nixxin) July 10, 2017
Reliance Jio full customer database leaked online. Remember Jio is linked to our Aadhar too. Days of Identity theft are not far.
— KEERTHI (@realkeerthi) July 10, 2017
— Raj (@sachitkks) July 9, 2017
As customers took to social media to spread awareness about the data breach, media houses like Medianama and The Quint verified the claims before the website was taken down by its hosting provider last night, shortly after 11 pm.
As reported by the news portals, Magicapk.com went online yesterday night, giving anyone access to user identification data (Know Your Customer, KYC) of Reliance Jio customers. The website had the following information: Name, Mobile, Number, Email address and SIM activation date and time. The Aadhaar number was thankfully not revealed, but it cannot be said with certainty that the makers of the website don’t already have the information with them.
The whereabouts of the website are still unknown, though reports confirm that it has been registered in India.
Jio called data leaked “unauthentic”
As reported by The Quint, Jio spokesperson said, “We have come across the unverified and unsubstantiated claims of the website and are investigating it. Prima facie, the data appears to be unauthentic. We want to assure our subscribers that their data is safe and maintained with the highest security. The data is only shared with authorities as per their requirement. We have informed law enforcement agencies about the claims of the website and will follow through to ensure strict action is taken.”
However, as many have verified the data breach, Jio’s claims raise more questions than answers doubts.
The Logical Indian take
The five most valuable firms in the world are – Alphabet (Google’s Parent company), Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. The one thing common between them all? Data.
And Reliance Jio has the data of 120 million subscribers who use its services after providing their Aadhaar information.
Unlike any other previous resource, data can be extracted, refined, valued, bought and sold in different ways. Additionally, since it is stored digitally, it is easier to leak or hack into.
The Aadhaar Act, 2016 ensures security and confidentiality of the information, but there have been numerous leaks in the past, with the Reliance Jio breach adding to the pile. Moreover, Aadhaar leaks cannot be taken to the Court because according to the Act, we have no rights over our personal data, Unique Information Authority of India (UIDAI) does.
In just one month, this April, Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani aggressively pushed for Jio, adding 3.9 million subscribers. A data leak in such a case would mean a large setback for the entire nation.
We need to fight harder for what belongs to us and its violations by any entity – be it a corporation or the government because privacy is not secrecy, it is a fundamental right.
There should be strict action taken against those responsible for these breaches. And the government should ensure that such violations of privacy and the Aadhaar Act do not take place in the future.