Narendra Modi App Shares Users’ Personal Data With US Firm, Discreetly Changed Privacy Policy After Allegations Of Breach

The Logical Indian Crew

March 26th, 2018 / 5:57 PM

Courtesy: Alt NewsAlt NewsNDTV | Image Credit: Google Play 

A French security researcher, who has been keeping UIDAI on its toes by exposing various security holes in the Aadhaar infrastructure, had claimed in a series of tweets that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s application is sending personal information of its users to a third party website called in.wzrkt.com and it is doing so without the user’s consent.




To ascertain if the NaMo Android App was involved in privacy breach, Alt News did its own investigation and found that personal information such as name, email id, gender, telecom operator type and more was indeed being shared with the website in.wzrkt.com.


In the screenshot, it can be seen that the email-id [email protected] that was entered during registration has been sent to in.wzrkt.com


After privacy breaches of the app were found to be true, the privacy policy on PM Narendra Modi’s website was quietly changed to accommodate for this lapse.



A day before the expose, this is what the application’s privacy policy said (cached versions saved by Alt News):



The changes to the privacy policy have been made surreptitiously since neither the verified Twitter account of the Prime Minister nor the verified account narendramodi_in which claims to be the “Twitter account of http://www.narendramodi.in – Shri Narendra Modi’s personal website & the Narendra Modi Mobile App,” acknowledged the issue. The NaMo app also hasn’t followed the standard practice to inform the users when changes to the privacy policy are made, a practice that most major apps and websites follow.


NDTV investigation

NDTV also conducted an independent investigation and found that the official mobile application of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, downloaded over five million times on Android alone, sent user data to the US-based company, WizRocket Inc, without consent.

WizRocket is a data analytics platform developed by a US-based company called CleverTap. CleverTap’s website says it is a mobile marketing platform that “visually builds and delivers omnichannel campaigns based on user behaviour, location and lifecycle stage”. The company was founded in 2013 by three Indians and has offices in several cities in USA and Indian offices are in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru.


BJP’s response

The ruling BJP has denied the allegations and said the data was being used only for analytics to offer all users the “most contextual content”.

“Data is being used for analytics using third-party service, similar to Google Analytics. The data in no way is stored or used by the third party services,” BJP sources said, reported NDTV.

Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to express condemnation against the privacy breach.



Congress senior leader Randeep Surjewala also tweeted:



This was followed by a war of words between the two national parties, where BJP claimed that Rahul Gandhi’s tweet only helped NaMo App gain more popularity.



BJP went ahead to accuse Congress of data breach.




Soon after, Congress deleted its official mobile application.

Congress’s social media head Divya Spandana took to Twitter to clarify the party’s decision to delete the app from Google’s Play Store. “The URL for membership on the INC app has been defunct for a while now. Our membership is through the INC website. How difficult is that to understand,” tweets Divya.


 


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Written by : Pooja Chaudhuri

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