Civil societies warn Dharani portal's potential to leak data

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  29 Oct 2020 3:13 PM GMT
Civil societies warn Dharani portals potential to leak data

Hyderabad: K Chandrasekhar Rao, Telangana Chief Minister, launched the Dharani portal at Mudu Chintalapalli village of Shamirpet Mandal of Medchal Malkajgiri district on Thursday. The Dharani portal will serve as a one-stop place for all matters related to land, including mutation and registration.

According to the state government, the portal will put an end to massive corruption in the department and to the innumerable land disputes. Be that as it may, some civil societies are questioning the portal’s efficiency and the motive of the government. The portal is part of the new revenue bill passed by the Telangana Assembly in September 2020, which is awaiting assent from the Governor and is yet to be notified as an act.

Swecha, an organisation that aims to provide global software solutions by providing a free software development model, said that the Dharani portal was been used experimentally since 2018 across few districts of the state and has caused problems for the farmers there.

The organisation added that the rules and guidelines about the portal’s functioning have not been notified yet and the hurry to publish the new system without public consultation has been problematic. “There is no provision for appeals in the new revenue bill and there is a lack of clarity for grievance redressal mechanisms regarding errors that are likely to pop up during digitisation,” said Swecha in its statement.

The organisation added that at a time when the data protection bill is still pending in the Parliament, the bill already allows sharing of data with credit agencies. This is happening without any regard for people’s right to privacy and ignores their consent for sharing their data. These need to be ideally disclosed in the law and subsequent rules and regulations, the statement said.

“Apart from the revenue bill, the new amendments made to municipal act also demand that details about the electricity and water bill be linked to the portal for urban property registration. This also violates citizen consent as there is a possibility for credit agencies to have access to this data,” said Swecha.

The government is violating the Supreme Court judgment of Puttaswamy vs Union of India by demanding mandatory Aadhaar for property registration, it said “The government intends to store all land records using the blockchain part of the Dharani portal. There is no clarity on this and with no rules on the blockchain, digitisation induced input errors can potentially cause permanent loss of property records,” added Swecha.

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