Citing TNM’s report on the collection of biometric data of Chennai residents by Impact Technologies without a government contract, CPI(M) sought action against the private firm and the government officials responsible.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) issued a statement on Friday, December 30, condemning the collection of biometric data from residents of a homeless shelter in Kannappar Thidal by a private company. The statement was issued a day after TNM published a story on the issue, detailing how the data was being collected without a contract with the government in place, and also cites the article. The CPI (M) statement said that private firm Impact Technologies has been collecting biometric data such as fingerprints and retina scans of people living in Kannappar Thidal, and said that the firm has been receiving support from the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) as well.
Impact Technologies was first hired with a contract in 2011 for date enumeration for a Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) project. CPI(M)’s statement makes note of how the contract had expired in 2015, but Impact Technologies still continued to collect sensitive citizens’ data, empowered by the police, the GCC and the state government.
CPI(M) further stated that this collection of data violates the individual freedom of people from economically weaker sections residing in Kannappar Thidal. Citing TNM’s report, the statement also mentioned how Impact Technologies’ Managing Director Parthasarathy MG said that the firm has the biometric data of 25,000 people from economically weaker sections stored in a ‘back office server’.
CPI(M) “strongly condemned” the illegal collection of data by Impact Technologies along with the Tamil Nadu government and the GCC, even after its contract had expired. The statement further mentioned that Impact Technologies collecting data after the expiration of its contract was in violation of the Tamil Nadu Transparency in Tenders Act, 1998. Calling the collection of data without any contract with the government “unacceptable”, CPI(M) called for strict legal and departmental action against the government officials who were involved. The party further recommended that Impact Technologies’ license be cancelled and emphasised that necessary legal action must also be taken against the company.