KOCHI: In the wake of vehement criticism from the Congress-led Opposition and questions from the Kerala High Court on data security, the state government has decided to keep out Sprinklr — a US-based company — from the management of Covid-19 data.
The government on Thursday informed the HC through an affidavit that the entire Covid-related data and the application for processing the same are being managed by C-DIT in its Amazon Web Services cloud space. The affidavit also stated that no employee of Sprinklr has any access to such data and that the only support the company provides is the updating of application based on the functional requirements suggested by the state, if such occasion arises.
There was no transfer of data to third parties. The data collected is stored on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) account owned fully by C-DIT. Therefore, the apprehension of any adverse effect on national security was unwarranted, the affidavit said. It also said the state government had requested the Union Ministry of Electronics and IT (MEIY) to direct the National Informatics Centre or an appropriate institution to provide details of the application available with them to meet the functional requirements of the state in connection with the Covid-19 containment.
‘Sprinklr directed to destroy all residual data immediately’
The state has not received any positive reply from MEITY so far. The entire data of Covid patients and those under surveillance has been transferred to the government-owned cloud webspace in Amazon Web Services, managed and controlled by C-DIT. The affidavit was filed in response to the petitions challenging the use of data by the US-based data analytics company Sprinklr. The Kerala High Court had earlier issued an order directing the state government to anonymise all data collected from citizens before allowing access to the US-based company.
The state said the company was directed to destroy immediately all residual data, if any, with it. The data was transferred on April 20, with no data being shared with Sprinklr after it was transferred to the C-DIT cloud space. Sprinklr had no access to the system. In case any data needs to be shared, which is not envisaged now, a detailed protocol shall be followed.
The government has asked the Kerala State IT Mission director and the C-DIT registrar to ensure that data was anonymised before being shared with any third party service provider. The government has directed all department heads and agencies involved in data on Covid-19 containment activities to obtain specific consent in requisite forms from the citizens concerned.
Congress wins first round
T’Puram: The Congress camp is elated that the LDF government has finally decided to remove the controversial US-based Sprinklr Inc from the handling of data of patients and people under surveillance for suspected Covid-19. It was Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala who first came up with the allegation of a nexus between the company and the government.