How safe are the data of 3.25 crore people in Assam who had applied for National Register of Citizens (NRC)?
While the official site of NRC authorities, www.nrcassam.nic.in is on NIC (National Informatics Centre) backbone, the final NRC, surprisingly is stored on a domain hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
As the political debate over NRC continues across the state, storing of sensitive data of citizens on a domain owned by an American company have concerned the citizens about the security of their data.
While the NIC is an attached office under the ministry of electronics and information technology, that helped the country embrace IT, AWS is World’s largest cloud computing service owned by Amazon.
The NIC has three National Data Centres at Delhi, Pune and Hyderabad and 30 small data centres at various state capitals to provide services to the Government at all levels.
“The government asked the citizens to submit vital data, which proves their Indian citizenship. We gave the data as the government asked us to do that,” said Arunabh Kalita (name changed), a citizen and resident of Guwahati.
“The data we provided as sensitive in nature. It includes one’s PAN number, bank details, passport number, land documents etc. But who can guarantee that the data protected? How can I be assured that Amazon does not have access to it,” he said.
“It is the responsibility of the government to protect my data and I think I have the right to know about the security of my data,” said Kalita.
New Delhi based data expert Rahul Sharma expressed concern over the situation.
Sharma who is associated with the International Association of Privacy Professional (IAPP), however, said that the cloud services have different models of operations.
“The data is hosted on AWS does not mean that the Amazon has access to it.
“They may have access or may not have access to the data. It depends on what kind of agreement the government signed with AWS or which models of operation the government has opted for,” he said.