Published On : Tue, Jun 30th, 2020

Why this ex-CM of Maharashtra wants NaMo app banned

Prithviraj Chavan

Former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has demanded a ban on the NaMo app, the official mobile phone application of Indias prime minister.

Chavans demand comes close on the heels of the Indian governments decision to ban 59 Chinese apps citing national security and data privacy issues.

An elected member of the Legislative Assembly from Maharashtras Karad (South) constituency, Chavan has sought a ban on NaMO app citing privacy issues.

I am doing a video which will articulate why I want a ban on the NaMo app. It is a question of privacy of individual data and its safety, the former CM said tersely.

Chavan’s tweet in Marathi, roughly translates, “The Union government banned 59 Chinese apps because data privacy of 130 crore Indians were under threat (from these Chinese apps). Using the same logic, the NaMo app that collects individual data of its users, changes privacy settings of app users without their knowledge and sends their data to foreign companies, must also be banned.”

When asked if he has any conclusive evidence to prove his allegations, Chavan said, “I will put out a small, cogent video explaining my tweet. The Chinese apps have been banned citing national security and privacy issues; these Chinese apps have been snooping on us. Thats why the government has banned them. In the same way there are various apps that have privacy issues. There are lots of questions about Aarogya Setu (a Union government app that informs users about the presence of COVID-19 positive patients in their vicinity based on their location) app also, which collects private data. This is not about national security but privacy, nothing else.

Responding to why the Maharashtra government has not been able to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in state and the extension of the lockdown till July 31, he said, “I can’t answer that question. This decision has been taken in consultation with the central government by the state government based on the spread of the COVID pandemic.”

“Its just not about the state government. There are many countries in the world that are not able to contain the pandemic. This is the kind of pandemic that nobody has seen before. If you have any magic potion to contain the pandemic then tell us. We will do it and also ask the Central government to do it. There is no magic formula. Theres no medicine. But the people (our state government) are trying their best, Chavan added.