A Bangalore based programmer named Thejesh GN broke the news that Airtel is spying on its 3G network users without their consent or knowledge. Posting on the micro-blogging site, Thejesh on June,3, 2015 tweeted:
— Thejesh GN (@thej) June 3, 2015
Investigating it further, Thejesh revealed that Airtel has partnered with Ericson which in turn had signed a deal with Flash Networks, an Israeli company, to inject a toolbar that tracks users’ browsing history.
He published the codes on GitHub, a web-based code repository. Soon after, the whistleblower received a legal notice from Flash Networks for infringing on its proprietary rights by making the codes public.
The company also sent a takedown notice to the site Github, where Thejesh reported about this incident. Github took the threat seriously and removed the screenshots.
“This is a standard solution deployed by telcos globally to help their customers keep track of their data usage in terms of mega bytes used. It is therefore meant to improve customer experience and empower them to manage their usage. One of our network vendor partners has piloted this solution through a third party to help customers understand their data consumption in terms of volume of data used. As a responsible corporate, we have the highest regard for customer privacy and we follow a policy of zero tolerance with regard to the confidentiality of customer data,”
said Airtel to Hindustan Times.
Meanwhile, Janta Ka Reporter is trying to get in touch with Airtel Customer relations Head for a word on the same.