The Indian PM’s official mobile application was criticized by an anonymous security researcher for sending personal user data to a third party without their consent.
Tweeting under the pseudonym Elliot Alderson, the security researcher posted tweets on Saturday stating the app was sending personal user data to a third party domain that he said he traced to the American company CleverTap.
Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party denied the allegations, tweeting that users data was analysed using a third party service, only to offer users the “most contextual content.”
Security researcher Elliot Alderson has previously highlighted some vulnerabilities in India’s national identity card project. Narendra Modi’s app, launched in 2015, has been downloaded roughly 5 million times on the Google Android Play Store.
After Alderson tweeted these allegations, Congress opposition leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted:
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.
Ps. Thanks mainstream media, you're doing a great job of burying this critical story, as always.https://t.co/IZYzkuH1ZH
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 25, 2018
In response, the Prime Minister’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party accused the Congress party of engaging with the firm Cambridge Analytica, which is accused of using the data of 50 million Facebook users in a data breach to influence the U.S. 2016 election. The opposition party denies engaging with Cambridge Analaytica.
Modi is one of the world’s most popular politicians on social media with over 41 million Twitter followers.