HYDERABAD: Cyberabad police investigating into the allegations of data breach by Sevamitra mobile app, that is aimed at promoting TDP, detained four persons in connection with the case on Saturday, according to official sources. Teams from Madhapur police station and the Cybercrime wing conducted searches at the offices of IT Grids, which developed the mobile app. The data pertains to the details of more than 3.5 crore voters registered in the State of Andhra Pradesh and allegedly misused by the developers, who are promoting the ruling TDP through the app.
“The case needs a thorough investigation into various technical aspects. We are verifying the computer records of the firm and people associated with it.” said a senior official from Cyberabad. The issue came into light after a city-based data analyst Thummala Lokeshwara Reddy approached police. Earlier YSRC MP VIjayasai Reddy also approached Cyberabad police seeking a probe into the violations by the app developers, but case was not registered in this regard.
Reddy stated that while studying about the practices of electioneering in view of the upcoming general elections in AP, he learnt about the use of certain mobile phone and tab-based software applications by the TDP cadre especially ‘Sevamitra app’ for advancing party’s electoral prospects. While browsing TDP website www.telugudesam.org and the official Facebook page of TDP, the details of “Sevamitra app” is available which was meant for people who were registered as TDP members to gather information about voters and to work for the party’s win in the elections in 2019.
Reddy stated that AP government has utilised the services of Vizag-based Bluefrog Mobile Technologies Pvt Ltd for implementing government schemes. In this process, Bluefrog got access to official data in respect of the beneficiaries of various government schemes and also private data of individuals, including their demographic, geographic and other identification features such as name, age, gender, address, Aadhar number and also including the data of AP Smart Pulse Survey, data of State Resident Data Hub (SRDH), data of Praja Sadhikara Vedika (managed by Karvy Data Management Services Ltd, Hyderabad), data of IVRS surveys conducted by AP government.
He found that all the above data is used by Hyderabad base IT GRIDS (India) Pvt Ltd, in the mobile app Sevamitra, which is a vioation of Supreme court orders. A case under Sections of IPC and IT Act were registered against IT GRIDS (India) Pvt Ltd and searches were carried out at it’s Kondapur and Kukatpally offices and records pertaining to the app and technical aspects were seized for further inquiry.