At a time when the Andhra Pradesh government has been accused of stealing data of about 35 million voters, the Telugu Desam Party has reacted to allegations of data leakage and said that citizens need not be concerned about the security of their personal data.

The government said that all safeguards for data protection were in place. It also went on to clarify that the procedures followed for the purpose of data storage and protection were consistent.

MyNation had brought news of how the data was being misused for voter profiling and deleting names of non-TDP voters in a bid to further the prospects of the Party in the Assembly and the Lok Sabha elections.

This not only is a serious matter but also raises questions on the impending dangers of allowing profiling of citizens through demographic data obtained from Aadhaar. 

K Vijayanand, principal secretary of Information Technology, Electronics and Communications, made a detailed clarification in the wake of Telangana Police registering a data theft case against IT Grids, a company which provides IT services to Andhra Pradesh's ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

Police said that the firm had illegal access to private data of citizens and it was using the same for an app developed for TDP cadres to help them in voter profiling. This was in view of ensuing elections.

Vijayanand, however, said that the government in order to take complete advantage of Aadhaar-based applications for the benefit of its citizens, linked virtual IDs of all households including the socio-economic details and the demographics with the citizens' consent.

The repository of this data is called 'People's Hub' and the process of collecting data is called 'Praja Saadhikara Survey' or 'Smart Pulse Survey', which is an ongoing activity.

Vijayanand said the entire activity was compliant with Aadhaar Act 2016 and the data was being used only for the purpose informed to the citizens.

Vijayanand also went on to say 'People's Hub' data was not available on the Internet and it can be used by the registered government agencies for the specified purposes.

The data is encrypted and stored in the servers of State Data Centre (SDC) owned by the state government.

“In order to keep a vigil on unauthorised attempts to access government servers, the usage of data and monitoring transactions, the government has set up AP Cyber Security Operations Centre (APCSOC),” said Vijayanand.

The IT Grids India Private Limited, which developed the Sevamitra app for the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), had access to sensitive personal data of individuals in Andhra Pradesh.

Personal data is usually available only in government databases including Aadhaar, electoral rolls and ongoing government schemes, police investigations into the company have revealed.

Madhapur Police have received a complaint against IT Grids for misusing personal information and sensitive data through the Sevamitra app.

Also read: TDP app compromises on your security by saving Aadhaar info on Amazon cloud