Even as there is a huge outcry over user privacy in India in the wake of the big Jio data leak yesterday, a new controversy erupted on Twitter on the same topic. The controversy started with a tweet from cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, when he asked his Twitter followers to share phone numbers in public.

The tweet from Sachin Tendulkar, came as a part of a brand promotion for IDBI life insurance – to promote fitness, as the company sponsors several marathons across the country.

“Have friends with many excuses to not get fit? Tag them using #NoExcuses with their cities & mobile no & I may call to give them a pep talk!” Tendulkar had tweeted. But later he deleted the tweet, according to a DNA report.

Following the tweet, Australian web security expert, Troy Hunt promptly took up the issue and tweeted, “How do you mine troves of phone numbers from Indians? Get a famous cricketer to politely ask people to dox their friends! #NoExcuses”

“Would it be too meta if I scraped these numbers off #NoExcuses then paid an Indian call centre to phone and ask for the tweet to be deleted?” He added in his tweet.

Meanwhile, Indians also took to Twitter and expressed disappointment over Sachin’s tweet. Here’s how they responded:

With over 17 million followers, Tendulkar is one the most-followed sports stars on Twitter. His tweet drew criticism as not many understand the implications of sharing their phone numbers on a public platform.

The perils of doing this are obvious — user details shared on Twitter are public forever, and can easily be scraped from a hashtag or thread, and sold on the darkweb to spammers, and identity thieves.

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