Narendra Modi’s Official Smartphone App Accused of Spying on the Citizens

Narendra Modi’s Official Smartphone App Accused of Spying on the Citizens

The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has been accused of mining and sending data of 5 million users to a third-party server in the U.S. via his official smartphone app.

The news got viral when a Security Researcher, Eliot Alderson (a pseudonym that he uses) claimed that the personal data of millions of Indians were sent to a third-party server in the U.S.

But this is not the reason why the Prime Minister’s party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is in hot water. It’s rather the use of the user data without their consent that makes this allegation a severe one. The party, however, has done exactly what any political party in India would have done: To outright negate any allegation that may come their way. They party replied in a tweet that the user data was used for “analytics” purposes and that too in the “the most contextual content.

Mr. Alderson made a series of tweets, revealing the code that was allegedly used to breach the app. Rahul Gandhi of the Congress Party didn’t hold back and tweeted: “Hi! My name is Narendra Modi. I am India’s Prime Minister. When you sign up for my official App, I give all your data to my friends in American companies.”

The sneaky side of this incident is how the creators of the app quietly updated its privacy policy. One of the clauses was changed from “Your personal information and contact details shall remain confidential” to “certain information may be processed by third-party services,” increasing the suspicion that Modi may, in fact, be guilty.

India does not have a dedicated cybersecurity law nor any law for data protection. Its stance on data mining is also vague. This is the reason why people need to be careful. While an app like Xnspy makes for a perfect monitoring app for the Indian market, it’s worthwhile to show responsibility while the app is used. It’s the responsibility of every Xnspy user to ensure that they are monitoring others’ devices only after their legal consent. The repercussions of not doing so may not be there but it’s our true responsibility to take a leap back from spying on others with an insidious agenda.