Koo App Leaks User Personal Data, Was Initially China Registered, Claims Security Researcher

The Koo App has gained prominence in recent weeks due to its portrayal as an alternative to Twitter.

The ‘Atmanirbhar’ micro-blogging app Koo leaks personal data of the users, the secuirty researcher Robert Baptiste who goes with the twitter username ‘@fs0c131y’ has claimed in a series of tweets.

The Koo App has gained prominence in recent weeks due to its portrayal as an alternative to Twitter, which has been in tense talks with the government over coming to a consensus regarding free speech. It had also won Atmanirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge, and was mentioned by PM Modi in his Mann Ki Baat. A number of BJP leaders, union ministers, and central government ministries were the early ones to join the app.

@fs0c131y has said that after performing operations on the programming of the app, he has found that “The app is leaking the personal data of his users: email, dob, name, marital status, gender, …”.

The twitter handle has further posted a screenshot which shows that the Koo App was initially registered in China, and has been later registered to Bangalore, India in 2019 under Bombinate Technologies.

Via: @fs0c131y on Twitter

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The CEO and Co-founder of the app, Aprameya R, has responded to the tweet about data leaking, and has said that it is false to represent this as data leak, since this information is publicly available. @fs0c131y has responded back and has claimed the founder to be lying on this issue, asserting that the Koo App also leaks data which is not publicly available regarding a particular person.

The co-founder of Koo has further confirmed that the App had investment and stakes by Chinese Shunwei Capital. He has said that Shunwei’s stakes were always minority and has claimed will be exiting soon.

Critics have raised questions about the conflict of interests that may arise with this app, since Mohandas Pai’s 3one4 Capital has invested and possesses stake in this app, who also owns a stake in Kovai Media Pvt. Ltd., which owns OpIndia. The App has also been criticized for its bias towards Republic TV, which it shows first in the must-follow list of the app. Republic TV had called for an editorial partnership with Koo last year.

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July 2024


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