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Nagaland Cong seeks action on �data breach�

By Correspondent

DIMAPUR, April 24 - The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) today asked the State Government to take cognisance of the alleged leak of personal data of people from the State stranded outside.

Expressing serious concern over the data breach, the NPCC demanded that the Government take necessary action in this regard.

�By sending the entire information which includes Aadhaar and bank account details, the nodal officials concerned have committed a serious blunder,� a press release issued by the NPCC said.

On April 20, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had announced cash assistance to the people of Nagaland stuck outside the State due to the ongoing lockdown. The Government subsequently launched a portal, iamstranded.nagaland., where any citizen of the State stranded outside and facing distress due to the lockdown can apply for assistance.

The stranded people were asked to provide their personal data such as name, mobile number, present address, contact number and address of their families, Aadhaar number, and details of their bank accounts to avail of the financial assistance. However, the data were reportedly leaked and circulated through various messaging apps.

The NPCC said the breach mirrored unpreparedness and inefficiency of the State Government machinery. It said the clarification issued by Principal Director of School Education Shanavas C, who is the nodal officer for monitoring and coordination with other States, to a news portal is more about �shifting the blame on those points of contacts such as union leaders in different parts of country tasked with the verification process�.

The NPCC said the nodal officer and his team must own moral responsibility for not applying their minds while handling personal details of the stranded people.

�For verification, they could have simply sent only the name, address and phone number given by the applicants to the respective point of contacts,� it said.

The State Congress also said the details sent to the points of contact on MS Excel format should have been password-protected. It urged the State Government to expedite the process of disbursing financial assistance to the stranded people while ensuring that those applying fraudulently are penalised.

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