London-based political consultancy Cambridge Analytica is at the centre of a Facebook data breach row, including those of around 562,000 Indian users. Photo: iStock
London-based political consultancy Cambridge Analytica is at the centre of a Facebook data breach row, including those of around 562,000 Indian users. Photo: iStock

Gemalto says sorry for wrong Aadhaar breach report

On 15 October, the company published a report based on the Breach Level Index, its database of public data breaches, which claimed that, during the first six months of 2018, almost 1 billion records were compromised in the Aadhaar breach incident

New Delhi: Digital security company Gemalto on Saturday issued a public notice for publishing an inaccurate report that claimed that around 1 billion Aadhaar records were compromised in the first half of 2018.

“All parties concerned should take note that we have not been able to find any verified or substantiated data breach of Aadhaar data. As a result, Gemalto has withdrawn the data breach claim from the Breach Level Index Report," said the public note from the company.

On 15 October, the company published a report and press release based on the Breach Level Index, its database of public data breaches, which claimed that, during the first six months of 2018, almost 1 billion records were compromised in the Aadhaar breach incident, including name, address and other personally identified information. “This is of particular concern, since the stolen, lost or compromised data records of only one out of 12 breaches were protected by encryption to render the information useless, a zero per cent compared to the first six months of 2017," said the press statement issued by Gemalto on 15 October.

To be sure, the company also issued a statement on 18 October on the same.

The report had also stated that a total of six social media breaches, including the Cambridge Analytica-Facebook incident, accounted for over 56 per cent of total records compromised. Of the 945 data breaches,189 (around 20 per cent of all breaches) had an unknown or unaccounted number of compromised data records.

London-based political consultancy Cambridge Analytica is at the centre of a Facebook data breach row, including those of around 562,000 Indian users. In March, after the data of Indians was allegedly compromised through Facebook by Cambridge Analytica, the government issued notices to the two companies and sought their response.

According to the public notice, the company has clarified that the error has been rectified in its revised report. It also said that more stringent criteria and validation of entries would be adopted aimed at revisiting the methodology of research conducted.

“As an organisation providing cyber security expertise and solutions, we have not been able to find any evidence of any Aadhaar data being breached. Any inconvenience caused to the people of India by our actions is deeply regretted," Gemalto added.

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