Citizens raise privacy concerns as hyperlinks do not demand authentication to access the data
Hyderabad: Over the past week, the state government has been sending messages with website links to people who have entered the country after March 15, asking them to enter their name, address and country of travel. The website also requires the people to submit a selfie.
The message asks the persons to upload their symptoms and pre-existing health conditions everyday.
The website service is being provided to the government by IIT-Hyderabad.
Some users who got these messages said they were not sure of the safety of their data.
Sai (name changed), who had recently returned from Japan and received the message, said, “Each of us gets a unique hyperlink in the text message. This hyperlink does not need any authentication for users to access the portal. All you need to do is click on it to reach my account on the portal.”
Hence, anyone with the particular link can access Sai’s address and other health details regularly. The users are also wary of submitting their photographs to the link.
IT secretary Jayesh Ranjan said the website is an essential tool for officials to track people who had returned from abroad. He said the website service was similar to the one being used to disburse pensions using facial recognition in the state.
“The pension app performs facial recognition to authenticate the user. In this case, the website only wants to see the user is uploading or taking a real selfie. This allows us to be sure of its authenticity,” he said.