Hyderabad: Calls to voters raise privacy concerns

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | COREENA SUARES
Published Nov 9, 2018, 1:43 am IST
Updated Nov 9, 2018, 1:43 am IST
Political parties extract data to read pulse of public.
It looks like political parties have extracted the data of voters according to their Assembly constituencies and have hired companies to examine the pulse of the voters.
 It looks like political parties have extracted the data of voters according to their Assembly constituencies and have hired companies to examine the pulse of the voters.

Hyderabad: “I received this interactive voice response system (IVRS) call from 040 38264031 (according to Truecaller-Spearuc voice broadcast). They knew the Assembly constituency I reside in and the message asked me to indicate the political party I will vote for in the coming Assembly elections by choosing from four options. I cut the call, but what about scores of people who might actually do as suggested? Isn’t it unconstitutional?” asks Ms Padmapriya Chilakamarti, who received the call.

It looks like political parties have extracted the data of voters according to their Assembly constituencies and have hired companies to examine the pulse of the voters.

 

The IVRS calls made are from series such as 040- 3826 4543, 38264031-32-33. Ms G. Nalini, a voter from Serilingampally, had a similar experience. “The caller says, ‘Mee (name of the constituency) lo evvariki vote vestharu’ the options follow, 1 for TRS, 2 TD, 3 Congress, 4 BJP and others,” she said.

She did not take the call from 040-3826 4543 at 12 noon. “They again called me three hours later from 3826 4031. The lady addressed me saying ‘Mee Serilingampally lo evvariki vote vestharu’ and the options followed. I disconnected the call.”

The Congress and the TD have not announced their candidates for constituencies in Greater Hyderabad, so the options for the Congress and the TD are not even logical. The TRS and the BJP have not named all the candidates.

The data of voters seems to have been extracted from resident welfare associations or the voter list because during enrolment or correction, voters were asked to link their Aadhaar card, which carries the phone number. Earlier, voters were spammed with text messages regarding local politicians’ campaigns.

When this newspaper reported the matter to the State Election Commission, the officials said voters must file a complaint with the EC and an inquiry will be ordered.

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Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad




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