Thrissur: Data privacy is significant as it has even security ramifications. However, lackadaisical approach as well as poor upkeep of personal information collected by organisations often results in unwarranted dissemination of crucial data.
A Kerala government undertaking has been found wanting in securing the personal data of 2 lakh holders of ration cards. Documents containing bank account and Aadhaar details of more than two lakh ration card owners were found abandoned at a godown at Ayyanthole in Kerala’s Thrissur district.
The basic details of the consumers were collected for the renewal of ration cards four years ago. These documents were stacked in 900 card board boxes at the godown, which belonged to a private individual. The building was not even properly secured with a lock.
These documents are now being shifted to the Supplyco offices as per the Kerala High Court's order.
(The Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited is popularly known by its brand name Supplyco.)
For ration card renewal, the Supplyco had collected personal details of more than two lakh families in 2014.
It was through the ration shops this information was garnered.
Each family was required to fill up a form with details such as the family members' mobile numbers, health status, bank account details, and Aadhaar number. Due to space limitations at the Supplyco offices, the godown of a private individual was taken on rent to examine the documents and for data entry.
However, after the official, who was responsible for collecting the data, got transferred, the documents were left unattended in the godown.
Even though these documents are required for making corrections in ration cards and further checks, none of the authorities cared to take back these records and keep them safely at the office.
Finally, the building owner approached the High Court. The court then ordered for the documents to be moved to the government offices within December 19.