Koo App Accused of Leaking User Data; Chinese Connection Explained
Koo app has been accused of exposing its users’ personal data.
Indian social micro blogging platform Koo has gained as many as three million downloads amid the tussle between Twitter and the Indian government. However, as the app gains followers, on Thursday, 11 February, Koo has reportedly been accused of a data breach for leaking sensitive information of its users, including email ID, phone numbers and date of birth.
- 01/02Screenshot of Data leak on Koo App(Photo:Twitter)
- 02/02Screenshot of Data leak on Koo App(Photo:Twitter)
According to French security researcher Robert Baptiste (known as Elliot Alderson on Twitter), Koo app has exposed users’ personal data.
Some of the personal informaton that has been exposed are email ID, date of birth, name, marital status, and gender of the users. “You asked so I did it. I spent 30 minutes on this new Koo app. The app is leaking the personal data of its users: email, dob, name, marital status, gender,” said Baptiste in a post on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Founder and CEO of Koo app, Aprameya Radhakrishna has also admitted that it has a Chinese investor that is on its way out after reports of a Chinese money in the app surfaced.
Responding to the data leaks, Koo said, “Users enter their profile data on the app to be shared with others on the platform. That's what's displayed everywhere across the platform. While there have been false allegations of a data leak, it's just commonly called the public profile page for all users to view!”
Replying back to Koo founder Aprameya Radhakrishna, security researcher Elliot tweeted,” Update: Koo founder commented the leak. It’s a lie. I did check this point before tweeting and it was not true.”
China Connection Surfaces
Founder and CEO of Koo app, Aprameya Radhakrishna has admitted that it has a Chinese investor that is on its way out, reported Moneycontrol.
Clarifying on the Chinese investment, Radhakrishna said, “Shunwei-our Chinese investor had invested in the earlier brand Vokal. We have pivoted our business and focused on Koo, they are on their way out. They are being bought out by other people. We are a truly an atmanirbhar Bharat app.”
“A set of Indian entrepreneurs are seen to be investing in Koo with Ashish Hemrajani from BookMyShow, Vivekananda from Bounce, Nikhil Kamat of Zerodha amongst various others entering the cap table of the company. It is a clear indication that the company is getting more and more Indian money into the company,,” Koo Spokesperson told The Quint.
According to the platform, the recent investment of $4.1 mn in Bombinate Technologies – Koo’s parent company was led by 3one4 Capital, an Indian investor. Shunwei had not participated in the latest round of funding. Shunwei that had invested in the company for the earlier product Vokal, which answers user questions in Indian languages, will be exiting with the new investors buying their stake.
“Existing investors including 3one4 Capital, Kalaari and others will also be buying out some of the stake. Koo is a complete aatmanirbhar app with Indian founders and Indian registration,” the spokesperson added.
Meanwhile, Koo app has been promoted by the Central government and many ministers including Piyush Goyal, they have insisted people to join the ‘made-in-India’ app amid tension between Twitter and the Indian government. Koo is currently available on Android, PC and iOS devices as well.
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