Home >Companies >News >Clerical error led to faulty data collection content, says Airtel

Bharti Airtel Ltd on Monday said it does not collect personal information of customers, other than name and address proof, clarifying that a clerical error led to sharing of content such as genetic data and sexual orientation briefly on its website.

“We emphatically confirm that we do not collect any personal information relating to genetic data, religious or political beliefs, health or sexual orientation, etc," the telco said.

The Sunil Mittal-led company’s statement follows concerns raised by some subscribers on social media over the telco’s privacy policy which said the operator and its authorised third party collect data besides name and address proof for authentication.

Airtel has removed the faulty policy from its website.

The telco said a clerical error caused inadvertent sharing of information on its website and, in fact, thanked the subscribers who flagged the issue.

“The generic content of the definitions of what constitutes personal data as laid down by the IT Act are expansive, which had been inadvertently put on to our website. This was a clerical error… We thank those who brought this error to our attention," the company said.

Though data privacy has raised concerns in the past and remains under scrutiny, the issue assumes more importance at present amid the India-China border standoff.

Tensions between the two nations escalated in June, when 20 soldiers of the Indian Army were killed in a clash with Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. Since then, the government has taken several steps to bar trade with the neighbour, including the ban on more than 200 Chinese applications.

The department of telecommunications has also suggested telecom operators undertake network audit on security concerns over spyware and malware vulnerabilities.

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