'Do Not Give Your Mobile Number If...': Union Minister's Tweet On Sharing Mobile Number With Retailers

Rajeev Chandrasekhar replied on Dinesh S Thakur’s tweet. (File)

New Delhi:

Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar has advised against sharing the personal mobile number with retailers unless there is a justifiable reason for them to ask for it.

The minister’s advice came in response to a public health activist named Dinesh S Thakur who, in a tweet, shared how he was asked for his mobile number when buying a chewing gum at the Delhi Airport.

Replying to Mr Thakur’s tweet, Union Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar wrote, “Do not give your mobile number if there is no justifiable reason for a retailer to have it. The misuse of Digital personal data of Indians will stop after DPDP bill is enacted”.

The tweet shared by Mr Thakur read, “Interesting experience at Delhi Airport today. Wanted to buy a pack of gum at one of the bookstores and I was asked for my phone number. When I asked why they need my phone number for buying a pack of gum, I was told it was for ‘security purposes’”.

Mr Thakur added that when he enquired about what kind of security was needed to buy a pack of gum, he got “empty stares all around”.

“The manager was summoned. Upon asking how he thought I made it through two screenings and if I was a security risk, all I got was a lot of mumbles. I left without purchasing the pack of gum,” he said.

Dinesh S Thakur further stated that he was amazed to see so many passengers “obediently disclosing this information even without batting an eyelid”.

“What am I missing here? How can we be so ignorant and apathetic?” he asked.

According to the DPDP Bill, 2022 heavy penalties up to Rs 500 crore can be imposed for personal data breach. It states that data processors and data fiduciaries will be penalised if they fail to take reasonable security safeguards to protect data and prevent personal data breach. 

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