Serious breach of privacy! Bengaluru Police discloses over 45,000 phone numbers on Twitter

The phone numbers of those reaching out to PCR through Bengaluru police's mobile app, Suraksha, were also revealed

If you are a responsible citizen in Bengaluru who believes in reporting street crimes to the police, then there are chances you may start receiving pranks calls and spam messages. At a time, when activists are raising the issue of possible misuse of Aadhar given the unprecedented access to citizen’s personal detail, the Bengaluru police department is in the eye of storm for reportedly posting over 46,000 tweets disclosing phone numbers of people who have contacted emergency number 100.

The unethical practice began in April 2015  and continued till Wednesday when the account was protected from public view by the admin. Thankfully, @BCPCR handle has only 66 followers as of today. The main city police account is at @BlrCityPolice. The contact details of those reaching out to PCR through Bengaluru police’s new emergency mobile application, Suraksha, were also posted in the tweets.

However, a senior cop downplayed the privacy issue claiming that the tweets were auto-generated and meant to `show’ the number of calls received by PCR and the number of people using the new app, Economic Times reported.

When asked about the safety of complainant, the cop said:”It is obvious that the accused will know who registered the complaint and privacy does not matter here.” Demanding action against police officer who ordered to create such an account, Policy Director at the Centre for Internet and Society, Pranesh Prakash said, ” The fact that the police did not consider it necessary to ask for permission before broadcasting someone’s identity shows how insensitive the Police Commissioner’s office has become to the privacy concern of our society.”