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HindustanTimes Wed,30 Jul 2014

Tie-up of EC, Google sparks security fears

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 04, 2014
First Published: 22:36 IST(4/1/2014) | Last Updated: 22:42 IST(4/1/2014)

Indian software professionals have expressed their worry at the Election Commission of India’s (ECI) project to register fresh voters by using the services of software behemoth Google.

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Warning that data collected by Google has been frequently used by American spy agency, the NSA, this consortium of professionals has sent a letter to the chief election commissioner pointing out this “security breach.”

“At a time when the world is concerned about the security of sensitive data, a Constitutional authority like the ECI is making it readily available to a foreign company,” Jiten Jain from the consortium.

“The government has said that no sensitive data of Indians will ever be shared with foreign servers. But the ECI will hand over names, IP addresses, cell phone numbers, residential addresses and all other kinds of sensitive data to Google for this project. This should have been cleared by Indian security agencies first.”

It was also advocated that Indian software companies were competent to carry out the same work and unlike Google, they won’t share data with NSA or be out of India’s jurisdiction.

The ECI has published advertisements about its plans to tie up with Google to make data bases more searchable and increase the voter registration online. However, this might also give the company a chance to use the data for their business or even share it with the NSA.


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