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MPs call for better cyber security amid multiple data breaches

CERT-in, the country’s official cyber warrior, explained that India has an adequate cyber security system and is capable of fighting any potential threats.
hemin Joy
Last Updated : 15 June 2023, 15:35 IST
Last Updated : 15 June 2023, 15:35 IST
Last Updated : 15 June 2023, 15:35 IST
Last Updated : 15 June 2023, 15:35 IST

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MPs on Thursday expressed concern over “multiple” data breaches, including the recent suspected leak of Co-WIN data, and convergence of stolen data while asking the country’s cyber security authorities to spruce up its infrastructure to secure the data.

Sources said the concerns were raised at a meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Communication and Information and Technology headed by Shiv Sena MP Prataprao Jadhav. The panel had summoned officials of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to hear them on ‘Citizens’ data security and privacy’.

While the deliberations were “positive”, sources said some MPs like Congress’ Karti Chidambaram and Trinamool Congress’ Jawahar Sircar raised the issues, including those involving reports about leak of Co-WIN data. MPs like BJP’s Tejashwi Surya and Nishikant Dubey also raised issues.

Sources said MPs raised not just issues related to recent reports on Co-WIN data leak but earlier instances also. They raised the issue of “data convergence”, as a section was using various leaked data sets to prepare a bigger data set.

CERT-in, the country’s official cyber warrior, explained that India has an adequate cyber security system and is capable of fighting any potential threats.

Sources said the MPs were of the view that the CERT-in should enhance its mechanism to fight cyber security issues, as the present system has experienced breaches at various levels.

As the MPs discussed data leaks, Rajya Sabha floor leader Derek O'Brien filed a complaint with Kolkata Cyber Police against the "illegal leak of confidential and sensitive data" stored in Co-WIN portal leading to "breach of privacy".

Demanding an FIR be filed on the data leak, he said he was made aware on June 12 that his personal information like date of birth, passport details and mobile number were publicly made available through 'Telegram', which media reported were from Co-WIN portal.

"It is worth mentioning that the personal data of MPs, high-ranking government officials and other Constitutional post holders have been compromised. This poses a direct threat to the functioning of the various organs of the different government organisations. Nobody knows why and how such data has been used till date," he said.

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Published 15 June 2023, 15:35 IST

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