Is Narendra Modi App Stealing Your Personal Data?

Narendra Modi App
Narendra Modi App

A French security researcher suggests that if you install Modi’s Android application on your phone, Modi is collecting a lot of your device information without your consent.

By Rakesh Raman

As most politicians in India are uneducated, they do not have knowledge of any modern subject, let alone information technology which is a highly complex domain. Still, they want to show you ostensibly that they understand and use technology extensively.

Case in point: Narendra Modi and his mobile application. Although Prime Minister (PM) Modi could never explain why people should use his app, he constantly asks commoners to download the app.

Why? It is largely believed that Modi and his party BJP are stealing app users’ data and sharing it with outsiders in order to get it analyzed for taking undue advantages in elections.

A French security researcher Elliot Alderson, who has been informing about the vulnerabilities in Modi’s NaMo App, has said that Modi’s Android application silently sends users’ data without their consent. This data includes the IP address and a unique identifier of the user’s phone.

Alderson also said that the personal data of users thus collected is sent to a website which is located in the U.S. According to the researcher, since the Modi application is available in Europe, it must comply with the European regulation called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

However, the researcher says, Modi’s Android application does not meet these requirements and so it is breaking this European regulation.

Alderson suggests that if you install Modi’s Android application on your phone, Modi is collecting a lot of your device information without your consent.

Therefore, it is being recommended that users should delete Modi’s NaMo App from their mobiles. In fact, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has started a Twitter hashtag #DeleteNaMoApp which urges users to delete NaMo App.

Meanwhile, it is being conjectured that the data collected by Modi’s NaMo App may be used for voting frauds on electronic voting machines (EVMs), as it is largely believed that Modi’s BJP has been tampering with EVMs to win elections.

In fact, BJP itself has indicated about this possibility. “No wonder if Rahul Gandhi will tweet tomorrow that NaMo App is connected to EVM machines, and EVM tampering happens through it,” a BJP spokesman has said.

BJP has also said that Rahul Gandhi is trying to divert attention from the controversy surrounding his party’s association with a rogue data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. BJP has accused Congress of engaging Cambridge Analytica in India for winning elections fraudulently.

Earlier, Gandhi had ridiculed Modi for collecting Indians’ personal data and sharing it with his friends in American companies. The Congress president also had criticized the mainstream media for ignoring the NaMo App story.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a government’s National award-winning journalist. He had been associated with the United Nations (UN) through United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert to help businesses use technology for brand marketing and business development. He also runs a free school for deserving children under his NGO – RMN Foundation.

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Rakesh Raman