NEW DELHI: The war of words between the Congress and the BJP intensified over data theft as both sides accused each other of collecting public information without permission.Congress president Rahul Gandhi accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of misusing his position to build personal database on millions of Indians via the NaMo App promoted by the government and charged the premier of spying on citizens.
“If as PM he wants to use tech to communicate with India, no problem. But use the official PMO APP for it. This data belongs to India, not Modi,” Rahul tweeted.“Modi’s NaMo App secretly records audio, video, contacts of your friends & family and even tracks your location via GPS. He’s the Big Boss who likes to spy on Indians. Now he wants data on our children. 13 lakh NCC cadets are being forced to download the APP,” he said.
The charges came a day after Rahul accused Modi of supplying data of Indians to his friends in US companies.The BJP hit back saying the Congress was equally guilty.“RahulGandhi ji, even Chhota Bheem knows that commonly asked permission on Apps don’t tantamount to snooping,” Union minister Smriti Irani said, recalling the character from the animated series for children.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “Rahul Gandhi is technologically illiterate. He does not know that data analysis is not equivalent to spying or snooping.”The BJP’s information technology cell head Amit Malviya said the Congress App WithCong was sharing user data with Gandhi’s friends in Singapore. “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,” Malviya tweeted.
Congress deleted the App, but clarified that it had been started as a pilot project to boost membership and was shut down as volunteers preferred the manual way.“Our App had just 15,000 members. This is miniscule when compared to the data of 50 lakh people collected through the NaMo App,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.He cited the recent breaches in Aadhaar data and information related to bank accounts holders to brand the NDA as “data leak government”.