Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi after allegations surfaced that data from his official app was being shared without users’ consent, a charge the BJP trashed.
Gandhi also accused the media of “burying” the story.
His attack on the Prime Minister was based on a media report in which a French vigilante hacker has purportedly alleged that data was stolen from his official app — NaMo App — without consent of the users.
“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,” Gandhi said on Twitter.
In the tweet, he also attached a news story titled, “Data theft allegations reaches PM Modi’s doorstep, French vigilante hacker’s stunning revelation”.
The BJP reacted on Twitter saying, it did not expect “any better” from the Congress chief. It also said the data are used only for analytics using third party service, similar to Google Analytics.
Official sources also maintained the app does not ask for blanket permissions when it is launched. They said the app is unique in nature, which unlike most apps, gives access to users in ‘guest mode’ without even any permission or data. The permissions required are all “contextual and cause-specific”, the pointed out.
“We also take this opportunity to encourage Rahul Gandhi to download NaMo App to keep himself appraised of the good things happening in India,” the BJP4India said in a tweet. It put out several tweets on the matter.
The BJP said “contrary to Rahul’s lies, fact is that data is being used for only analytics using third party service, similar to Google Analytics. Analytics on the user data is done for offering users the most contextual content.”
It said the app gives access to users in ‘guest mode’ without even any permission or data. The permissions required are all contextual and cause-specific, the party said.
“Rahul Gandhi is no match for Narendra Modi. But seeing his fright about the Namo App, is very amusing. When his bots tried to trend #DeleteNamoApp day before yesterday, the popularity and downloads of Namo App only increased,” it said.
In his tweet, Gandhi also attacked the media saying on Twitter, “Ps. Thanks mainstream media, you’re doing a great job of burying this critical story, as always.”
The Congress and the BJP have indulged in a slinging match over data theft and the use of services of Cambridge Analytica, accused of harvesting data from Facebook.