Police arrests engineer for hacking Aadhaar
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