Po­lice ar­rests en­gi­neer for hack­ing Aad­haar

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Ben­galuru, In­dia - Po­lice has ar­rested a soft­ware en­gi­neer for steal­ing sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion on more than 50,000 peo­ple from In­dia’s Aad­haar bio­met­ric identity pro­gramme, the first crim­i­nal charges stem­ming from a gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tive that’s been crit­i­cised for lack­ing pri­vacy pro­tec­tions.

In a po­lice com­plaint, the en­gi­neer was ac­cused of gain­ing in­for­ma­tion from the na­tion­wide plat­form from January to July by us­ing an app to mimic an­other ini­tia­tive that lets Aad­haar hold­ers set up ap­point­ments on­line with Delhi hos­pi­tals.

Launched in January of 2009, Aad­haar’s over­seers are al­ready grap­pling with ac­cu­sa­tions of in­ad­e­quate se­cu­rity for data gath­ered from more than a bil­lion In­di­ans, as well as po­ten­tial vi­o­la­tions of per­sonal pri­vacy. The coun­try’s Supreme Court is about to rule on a sep­a­rate case that seeks to uphold pri­vacy as a fun­da­men­tal right, in a chal­lenge to the pro­gramme’s le­gal­ity. Though data leak­ages have been re­ported in the lo­cal press, the case in­volv­ing the en­gi­neer marks the first pros­e­cu­tion re­lated to the sys­tem. “The per­son is in po­lice cus­tody and has been charged with crim­i­nal con­spir­acy and forgery un­der the In­dian Pe­nal Code as well as the In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Act,” Ben­galuru po­lice com­mis­sioner Suneel Ku­mar said.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­plaint, the en­gi­neer farmed de­tails in­clud­ing names, ad­dresses and phone num­bers through an app. If proven guilty, the en­gi­neer faces three years in jail and a hefty fine.

The en­gi­neer is ac­cused of gain­ing in­for­ma­tion from In­dia’s na­tion­wide plat­form from January to July

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