The data theft case field by the Telangana State police against IT Grids company is taking new twists and turns. The company, which maintains the Sevamitra mobile app for the ruling Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh is facing the charges of data theft. With its corporate office in Hyderabad, the IT Grids is charged with stealing the peoples’ data from the State government. The ruling TDP, which is maintaining the Sevamitra mobile app to communicate to the party cadre, is accused of giving the common data of the people, along with the Aadhar information to the IT Grids. In turn, the IT Grids had parked this information with the Amazon Web Services, which can be used by other countries or the unorganised crime syndicate.
The Aadhar authority – the Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) – is now seized of the matter and had filed a case against the IT Grids in Hyderabad. The UIDAI deputy director T Bhavani Prasad had lodged a complaint with the Madhapur police in Hyderabad alleging the theft of the Aadhar data. He also expressed doubts over the possible theft of the Aadhar data of not only Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, but also of some more states by the IT Grids, which could have shared it with others.
It is alleged that the ruling TDP had collected the data of the people from various government departments, which have been implementing dozens of welfare programmes. In the guise of getting feedback from the beneficiaries, the government departments were asked to collect the peoples’ data which was unofficially passed on to the IT Grids to help the ruling TDP. It is also alleged that some of the senior officials of the government have helped the ruling TDP in passing on the data to the IT Grids, which had stored this data in Amazon Web Services.
“The Directors of the IT Grids (India) Pvt Ltd are suspected to have hosted database related to Aadhaar number and related identity information in Amazon Web Services, which is in clear contravention of Rule 6(4) of above mentioned (Aadhaar Regulation Act 2016) regulations. The evidence gathered so far points to the fact that the accused (IT Grids) has hosted the Aadhaar database in Amazon Web Services, USA in contravention of Section 44 of Aadhar Act 2016. Further, it is strongly suspected that the accused could have illegally stored the Aadhar database not only of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh but possibly of few other States in a off shore storage facility. There is every possibility that the sensitive data of Indian citizens could be accessed and used by countries hostile to India or International Organised crime syndicates in a manner which could seriously be detrimental to National Security,” the Aadhaar deputy director Bhavani Prasad said in his complaint.
If the fears expressed by the Aadhaar deputy director are to be believed, many heads on the government will roll out for providing the sensitive data to the IT Grids.