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Congress accuses Telangana govt of privacy breach, MoS for Home Affairs to look into the matter: Report

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy assured the Congress party delegation that he would look into their complaints against Telangana government for illegally accumulating and integrating personal data of citizens through its Samagra Vedika initiative, ANI reported.

Telangana government’s Samagra Vedika is an initiative under which the state collected data and integrated it across various departments. The basis for this initiative is Samagra Kutumba Survey (SKS), an integrated household survey which was conducted in 2014.

The discussion took place when a delegation of Congress leaders led by All India Congress spokesperson Sravan Dasoju met the minister at his office in Delhi on August 5 where they demanded fair investigation into the matter.

Congress party’s allegations against Samagra Vedika

In a letter (available below) submitted to the minister, Dasojou alleged that the state government has been collecting and integrating data of the citizens without a specific reason and consent of the people in violation of Article 21 of Indian constitution which states that “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law”.

“The government of Telangana appears to have dubious intent to utilize this massive people’s data for political or private purposes and hence without any prior consent or without any specific reason has indulged in collation and storage of large amount of private information of individuals/ citizens,” the letter noted. In the letter, Dasojou also mentioned that the government of Telangana has been literally tracking every digital transaction of citizens across various government departments, private organisations and banks and financial institutions including personal emails, passwords, etc.

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“Innocent citizens, as a part of their day-to-day general transactions and requirements, furnished information before various governmental and private entities without knowing that the Telangana government is indulged in preparing their digital footprints with the help of unknown algorithms,” he said in the letter.

According to the ANI report, Dasojou also alleged that the state government did not implement adequate data protection and security measures. He also said that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) party had received privileged access to the citizen data and use it for its political gains in the upcoming Municipal elections.

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