BJP changes privacy setting on NAMO App

A day after BJP was exposed by a French cyber security expert for transferring data of users of NAMO App to an American company without user consent, BJP quietly tried to fix the ‘problem’ on Sunday

Photo by Waseem Andrabi/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Waseem Andrabi/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NH Political Bureau

A day after the anonymous French cyber security researcher exposed that an Android App promoted by the Bhartiya Janata Party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was transferring user details to an American company, the privacy setting was “quietly” changed on Sunday.

Pratik Sinha in Altnews, the Internet fact-checking website , was the first to notice the change. “ While the PM’s website claimed that personal information would not be provided to third parties in any manner whatsoever without the consent of the user, it was doing exactly the opposite,”

“These hurried changes to the privacy policy further go onto prove that there was a clear privacy breach by PM Narendra Modi’s mobile app,” the report went on to add.

Till a day before the exposé, the privacy policy on the website read “Your personal information and contact details shall remain confidential and shall not be used for any purpose other than our communication with you. The information shall not be provided to third parties in any manner whatsoever without your consent.”
It has now been discovered that to cover-up this issue, the privacy policy on PM Narendra Modi’s website has quietly been changed to accommodate for this lapse.
The privacy setting now states : The following information may be processed by third party services to offer you a better experience:

*Name, email, Mobile phone number

* Device information, location and network carrier

The French researcher, who had been contacted by the BJP through an independent Twitter handle, also noticed the change on Sunday and tweeted:

Notwithstanding the damage control exercise, it has now been proved that BJP took the people for a ride by promising that information would remain confidential and would not be shared with anyone.

And although executed quickly, the damage control exercise avoided being upfront about changes made in its privacy policy. Most websites and Apps, Altnews noted, announced changes prominently to make users aware. But in the Namo App, the change has been made quietly, even surreptitiously.

It is still not known what the American company Clever Tap has done with the information filched from users of the Namo App.

BJP fell back on jargon to explain that data analytics is done to provide context and a ‘better experience’ and elicited the following response from the French researcher:

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