VIJAYAWADA: Personal data of those paying property tax, water bills and advertisement tax is not safe with the AP government. The government has been publishing their Aadhaar number and mobile phone numbers online, along with GPS location and the electoral ward.
In the biggest data leak by the AP government, data security researchers are pointing out that details of lakhs of taxpayers including their Aadhaar numbers and phone numbers have been uploaded and are easily available on the emunicipal.ap.gov.in portal of the AP government.
To make matters worse, the data of this portal is stored on third party servers, leaving it open to the risk of being accessed by private people.
It’s not for the first time that the AP government has put up the personal data of the public online. In earlier instances, sensitive information of purchase of medicines from Annasanjivini stores by the general public along with their phone numbers had been uploaded on the Annasajivani portal.
The AP government website had leaked Aadhaar numbers of around 11,000 government employees earlier. The endowments department had shut down the website after being alerted by security researchers as it inadvertently published Aadhaar numbers of 11,000 government employees.
“I fail to understand why the government has been repeatedly doing this while it boasts of bringing in IT revolution in the state. No data is safe with the government. More worrying is the fact that the data of the municipal administration department is being stored on a third party server which means the data is vulnerable,” data security researcher Srinivas Kodali, who pointed out the data breach, told this newspaper. The third-party server in which this data is stored belongs to eGovernments Foundation, an NGO.
There was also angry reaction after Mr Srinivas shared the data leak on Twitter. One Twitter user said, “Why the heck AP is leading in leaking Aadhaar data. To the hell with your policies and the way you use technology to leak the info. This is ridiculous.”
Another Twitter user said “This is just ridiculous. How can the government disclose such information so easily and without consent? Great going #modi government.”
Another tweet read, ‘Real-time governance — we share your info in real time to everyone. Not sure when the govt will wake up and plug the shortcomings and take privacy seriously.”...