Under attack from Rahul Gandhi over Narendra Modi App data leakage, BJP’s comeback: 10 developments

By: | Published: March 26, 2018 11:08 AM

Rahul Gandhi brought the NaMo app in the eye of a storm and alleged that PM Modi's app was leaking data to a third-party US company, starting a fresh war between the Congress and BJP.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over allegations of data sharing from his official App – NaMo App – without the consent of the user.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over allegations of data sharing from his official App – NaMo App – without the consent of the user. This came days after the data leak scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica surfaced, besides, many reports of Aadhaar data leak in the country.

On Sunday, Rahul Gandhi brought the NaMo app in the eye of a storm and alleged that PM Modi’s app was leaking data to a third-party US company, starting a fresh war between the Congress and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

Congress chief took to Twitter and in a post claimed that the prime minister was allowing ‘American companies’ to take away the data of users who signed up for his application. “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 Gandhi tweeted. Gandhi also accused the media of “burying” the story.

However, trashing the charges, BJP said that it did not expect “any better” from Gandhi. The party explained the working of the app and said it does not ask for blanket permissions when it is started and that the data is used only for analytics using third party service, similar to Google Analytics. “We also take this opportunity to encourage Rahul Gandhi to download NaMo App to keep himself appraised of the good things happening in India,” the BJP said in a series of tweets on the matter.

Here are 10 top developments in the Congress-BJP war over ‘data theft’:

• Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted a swipe at PM Modi charging him of leaking data to US companies. He took to Twitter and said that Narendra Modi’s official app – NaMo App – was leaking data to companies in America.

• Gandhi also accused the media of “burying” the story. He said this on the basis of a media report in which a French vigilante hacker has purportedly alleged that data was stolen from his official App without users’ consent.

• French researcher Elliot Alderson on his Twitter account has alleged that information of the users of the app, was being provided to third party US company without permission. “When you create a profile in the official @narendramodi #Android app, all your device info (OS, network type, Carrier …) and personal data (email, photo, gender, name, …) are send without your consent to a third-party domain called https://in.wzrkt.com,” Alderson’s Tweet read.

• Hitting back against the allegations by Rahul Gandhi, BJP retaliated saying that the Congress chief and his party had no knowledge about technology. Here is what BJP said in the tweet, “He is so rattled by the Cambridge Analyitca expose that he daily tries to divert attention from it, yesterday it was the judiciary and today it is Namo App.” ” All they can do is scare the masses about technology while they continue to steal data using his ‘Brahmastra’ of Cambridge Analytica,” the Tweet read.

• BJP further explained that NaMo app does not seek blanket permissions for users’ data. It further said that NaMo app provides a platform for millions of PM’s fans and party cadre to connect directly with the Prime Minister. It is a ‘one of its kind’ App which enables unprecedented engagement and interactivity with PM, BJP said in a Tweet.

• BJP said 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, BJP said in Twitter.

• Announcing that the popularity of the app increased after Congress tried to trend #DeleteNamoApp, BJP said that Rahul Gandhi is no match for Narendra Modi. BJP tweeted: “We all know that Rahul Gandhi is no match for Narendra Modi. But seeing his fright about the Namo App, is very amusing. When his bots tried to trend #DeleteNamoApp day before yesterday, the popularity and downloads of Namo App only increased. Today, it will be no different!”

• Later, Amit Malviya, the in-charge of BJP’s national Information and Technology, took to Twitter and hit out at Gandhi in the same tone. He wrote on Twitter, “Hi! My name is Rahul Gandhi. I am the President of India’s oldest political party. When you sign up for our official App, I give all your data to my friends in Singapore.”

• Meanwhile, terming charges of Congress President Rahul Gandhi as a ‘pack of lies’, Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam said “I filled up to 10 pages for a US visa form. We have absolutely no problem giving our fingerprints and being naked before the white man at all. When your own government asks for your name and address, there is a massive revolution saying it’s intrusion of privacy.”

• On his comments that Indians were reluctant to share data with the union government but would not object to getting scanned to get a visa, Kannanthanam said that every citizen in every country has an ID card. “It is important as it empowers the citizen,” Kannanthanam said.

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