Thursday, November 24th, 2016

NaMO app: Who owns it? Why is a serious survey being done on a private app?

Amal Das | November 24, 2016 1:40 pm Print
The Google Play Store page of NaMo app says it is the official app of the Prime Minister which has to be owned and developed by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday had asked people to participate in a survey on demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes on the Narendra Modi(NaMo) app. He asked for feedback on the currency ban announced on November 8 through the app hailed as the official app of the Prime Minister.

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But the app’s Google Play Store page says it is the official app of the Prime Minister which has to be owned and developed by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). The developer details at the bottom have a different story.

20980b39-2b97-4ba3-a6b7-58140cc911fdIt says, the app is not an “official” one, but something developed by the Bharatiya Janata Party to which the PM belongs to. So why the official tag? Nobody knows.

If you dig further, the registration details of the app are more revealing.

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The app is registered in Narendra Modi’s name as a private person, not as PM or by his Prime Minister’s Office. Branding a venture owned and operated by Modi, the person as “official” and vouching for it on his Prime Ministerial post is illegal, no?

In order to sign-up, the app is demanding. It asked the users to enter the phone number, district, city, interests, DoB, profession, interests and in between all these your Voter ID. Entering your ID details was not mandatory, but the placement of the question was not obvious.

So, an app developed and operated by BJP in the name of its leader Modi, asking for your details is not quite innocent. Handing over your details in a country with flawed privacy laws can lead to consequences. Especially,for a party known for coming up with cold election strategy.

The Opposition parties created a furore in Parliament saying the PM must answer on the demonetisation. But the government defended the currency ban with results of the app survey where 93 per cent supported it.

But nobody cares a hoot about citizens’ privacy breach.

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