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IT Par panel to discuss citizens’ data security on Wed

New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) The IT Parliamentary panel will meet on Wednesday to seek response from the Ministries of Electronics & Information Technology, Home Affairs and the Department of Atomic Energy on citizens’ data security and privacy, sources said.

The panel headed by Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor will take up the WhatsApp snooping case in this regard.

Tharoor is learnt to have told the panel members that alleged use of technology for snooping on Indian citizens was a matter of “grave concern” and it would be discussed at length at the committee’s next meeting on November 20.

WhatsApp has already said it was suing NSO Group, an Israeli surveillance firm, which is behind the technology that helped unnamed entities hack into phones of roughly 1,400 users.

Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has asked WhatsApp for a report on the allegations. Facebook-owned WhatsApp on October 31 said that Indian journalists and human rights activists were among those globally snooped upon by unnamed entities using an Israeli spyware, Pegasus.

WhatsApp has over 1.5 billion users globally, of which India accounts for about 400 million.

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