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Bengaluru techie arrested for Aadhaar data theft
Photo Credit: Reuters

Bengaluru police have arrested Abhinav Srivastava—co-founder of Chennai-based Qarth Technologies which was acquired by cab-hailing firm Ola in March last year—for building a mobile application that illegally accessed Aadhaar data of thousands of people, according to media reports.

The Hindu reported that Srivastava has been arrested for allegedly accessing information in January this year from the servers of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) through an app named ‘Aadhaar e-KYC’, which could be downloaded from Google Play. The app is no longer available.

According to the police, Srivastava had developed five apps and that the Aadhaar e-KYC app was downloaded over 50,000 times since its launch.

Ola did not respond to an email query. Srivastava, who has been booked under sections of the Information Technology Act, 2008, could not be contacted.

Last week, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had filed a police complaint against Qarth, for allegedly misusing Aadhaar data on its website.

The first information report (FIR), a copy of which has been reviewed by VCCircle, accuses Srivastava and Qarth of developing an app and accessing details on the Aadhaar website without authentication.

A mobile payments firm, Qarth was acqui-hired by cab-hailing major Ola in March last year to expand its Ola Money offerings. As part of the acquisition, the Qarth team, including founders Abhinav Srivastava and Prerit Srivastava, had joined the Ola Money team.

In an earlier statement, Ola said, ““Ola has neither commissioned nor is involved in any such activity. No such complaint has been brought to our notice.”

The FIR did not name Ola or its founders.

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