Congress complains to MoS Home on “Citizen 360” initiative of TS govt; Kishan Reddy assures probe into the issue

Hyderabad/New Delhi: The Telangana government’s “Samagra Vedika” initiative under which personal data of citizens is being accumulated and integrated has kicked up a row with Congress knocking the doors of Union Home Ministry on this issue. A Congress delegation led by AICC Spokesperson Dr. Sravan Dasoju met Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy in New Delhi on Monday. They submitted a complaint accusing TRS government in Telangana of violating Article 21 of the Constitution of India, the Data (Privacy & Protection) Act, 2017, the Information Technology Act, 2008, and the dictum of the Supreme Court.

The AICC leader also alleged that the data was allegedly being misused by TRS party for political gains Sravan said that the huge amount of personal information of the citizens seems to be in the possession of the Government and the TRS party in its private capacity illegally, posing grave threat and danger to the citizens of the State. Referring to the speech delivered by Principal Secretary of IT Department Jayesh Ranjan in ICAI national conference held in Hyderabad on July 5, 2019, they said that the details of ‘Citizen 360’ initiative, as revealed by the IAS officer, were both shocking and disturbing as the State government was using an algorithm which gathered the private data pertaining to various citizens available with various departments of the State and otherwise. “The statements made by Jayesh Ranjan clearly reflect that Telangana government has illegally indulged in secretive collection, integration and storage of data, more particularly, private and personal information of the citizens without their permission or consent,” he said.

“It is apparent that the Telangana government is literally tracking every digital transaction of citizens from various government departments, private organisations and banks and financial institutions including personal emails, passwords, etc.,” Sravan told the Union Minister in his complaint. The Congress leader also alleged that the Telangana Government was trying to create a parallel Aadhar of every citizen of the State without their consent or free will.

Therefore, he demanded that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs appoint and conduct an independent and fair investigation and take all necessary steps to protect the information and rights of citizens of Telangana Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy, in his response, has assured the Congress delegation that Centre would look into the issue and initiate a probe if needed.

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