Hyderabad: The UIDAI on Saturday filed a police complaint against IT Grids (India) Private Limited, accusing it of the theft of Aadhaar details of 7,82,21,397 (7.8 crore) card holders in Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh for the purpose of the Seva Mitra app belonging to the Telugu Desam.
The company faces complaints with regard to the theft of voter data in Andhra Pradesh. The state government has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into the complaints.
The complaint is based on the information provided by the SIT led by inspector-general of police Stephen Raveendra to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
Sources said the examination conducted by TS Forensic Science Laboratories (TSFSL) on the data recovered by TS police from the offices of IT Grids showed the extent of misuse of personal information.
What surprised the scientists at the TSFSL was that the structure of the database maintained by IT Grids was an exact copy of the one maintained by the UIDAI. This raised suspicion in the SIT which informed the UIDAI which led to Saturday’s police complainant.
Citing one instance, it was stated that the database was structured as follows:
Muddanalaligari Jayamohan Reddy XXXX XXXX3340),
Akkala Maddileti Reddy xxxx xxxx8414,
Akula Ravi Kumar xxxx xxxx7063,
Abdas Venkata Pratap xxxx xxxx 8041.
“These records were found in the hard disk that was in the possession of IT Grids, When the TSFSL examined the records, it was found that the company had the name, gender, age, date of birth, district, state, pin code, and HID_NUM (Aadhaar numbers) of 7 crore card holders. The possession of these details raised a strong suspicion that the data could have been illegally obtained either from the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) or one of the State Repository Data Hubs aligned to CIDR,” said UIDAI deputy director T. Bhavani.
The UIDAI in its complaint told the Madhapur police that the SIT officials informed it that Lokeshwara Reddy, director of IT Grids, illegally accessed and fraudulently acquired sensitive identity information such as Aadhaar number, voter identity details, beneficiary details of various government schemes and data related to schemes of the AP government. This data was misused by IT Grids through the Seva Mitra app, UIDAI said. Following this the Madhapur Police registered a case under Sections 37, 38 (a), 38 (b), 38 (g) , 40, 42 , 44 of Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies Benefits and Services) Act 2016. The case has been transferred to the SIT.
Both Telangana, AP had formed separate SITs
The first case was registered on March 2, following a complaint filed by data analyst T. Lokeswara Reddy in Hyderabad, and IT Grids was raided. The next day, the AP police tried to arrest Lokeswara Reddy from his house in the city and he called the TS police.
Both the TS police and the AP police formed separate Special Investigation Teams.
The TS SIT was to probe the alleged theft of voter data. Coincidentally, the Telugu Desam website was taken down on March 7 and was back a few days later.
Investigations by the TS SIT revealed that the Seva Mitra app was suspected to be using stolen voter information along Aadhaar data of cardholders of TS and AP for voter profiling.
The app was using data unauthorisedly targeted at the deletion of voters, it was alleged.
During the course of the investigation, searches were carried out at the IT Grids office in Hyderabad from where the SIT seized hard disks and other digital evidence which were sent to TS Forensic Science Laboratory for examination.
The TSFSL in its primary report categorically stated that seized hard disk contained a database of a number of records pertaining to Aadhaar numbers in a particular structural database.
It was this report that led to the SIT to conclude that the company was in possession of Aadhaar details of seven crore voters in Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh....