Personal information of all people, including prominent leaders and journalists, who underwent Covid-19 vaccination have been leaked online, Trinamool Congress leader Saket Gokhale said in a series of tweets today.
Gokhale said details of the persons who underwent inoculation like their mobile numbers, Aadhaar numbers, passport numbers, voter ids and details were freely available online. He shared a screenshot of the leaked data on Twitter to prove his claim.
Among the leaders, whose data was revealed include senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram, Congress leader KC Venugopal, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien and Congress communication in-charge Jairam Ramesh. These were just the tip of the iceberg, claims Gokhale.
Expressing concern about the data breach, Gokhale raised questions about the sensitivity of the data and attacked the Narendra Modi government for its negligenct behaviour in not doing enough to protect such vital data. He said the Information & Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who has already had a horrid June due to the Odisha train collision in Blasore, should be held responsible for the data breach.
Gokhale said it was a matter of serious concern since the personal details of every Indian who got vaccinated against Covid-19 was freely available on the internet.
Explaining the seriousness of the matter, Gokhale said when a mobile number registered with the CoWIN portal is entered in the Telegram intercom, it will share all details provided during vaccination along with gender, birth year, name of the vaccination centre and doses. He further referred to a report and said that the Aadhaar card, voter ID, and PAN card numbers of Indian citizens are accessible to anyone on Telegram.
It is to be noted that earlier there were reports that claimed the CoWIN portal was hacked. The reports claimed that a database of 15 crore people was leaked online. However, cyber security researchers denied the claim. The National Health Authority (NHA) denied those claims, saying the platform neither collects the address of people nor RT-PCR test results for vaccination.
The government heavily relied on digital technology for controlling and creating awareness about the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent vaccination programme. Several government departments had mandated the use of the Aarogya Setu app for Covid-19 related services and information.
Apart from the politiicans, data of journalists Rajdeep Sardesai, Rahul Shivshankar, Barkha Dutt and Dhanya Rajendran was also available, said Gokhale. Again, the leaked data included Aadhaar card numbers, along with gender, date of birth and vaccination centre and other details.
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