Data leak: KEA files police complaint


Info in applications compromised, say students, parents

Following several complaints from parents and students alleging that their personal data, which had been submitted in online application forms had been compromised, the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA) has finally lodged a police complaint against a private company for reportedly hacking into its system.

The KEA conducts the Common Entrance Test (CET), the gateway to professional courses including engineering, agriculture, and D-Pharma. For this purpose, personal details of students and their parents, including mobile phone numbers, are collected and stored in a database.

KEA officials have alleged that a private agency in July hacked their database and reportedly sold it to people in Telangana and Odisha.

Vikas Kishor Suralkar, Executive Director, KEA, said that they were in the process of fixing the leak to ensure that the data of students collected for CET 2020 is safe. “Once the police give us details of the investigation, we will also initiate appropriate action,” he said.

Messages to parents

Parents and students had initially approached the KEA in May, claiming that they had been receiving messages on their phones from private professional colleges. A parent whose son wrote the CET-2019 said: “A month after my son registered for CET, we started receiving messages from several private engineering colleges across the country. We also received calls from some colleges who explained to us the infrastructure they had and the placement record. We were shocked, but KEA did not respond when we raised the issue. We are glad that this data leak is finally being addressed.”

Officials said that while the National Informatics Centre helps KEA with logistics in the registration counselling process, the leak was because of the actions of a private agency.

A police complaint had been lodged at the Malleswaram police station under the Information Technology Act 2008. Based on the complaint, the police had booked a case.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 3:43:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/data-leak-kea-files-police-complaint/article30064489.ece

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