Koo exposed personal data of users, claims French hacker; CEO denies claims

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on February 11, 2021 Published on February 11, 2021

Microblogging platform Koo, India’s alternative to Twitter, gained popularity following GoI’s tussle with Twitter; some ministers and celebrities have joined the platform

Koo, India’s alternative to Twitter, which provides a microblogging platform in Indian languages, has been leaking users’ personal data, claimed French security researcher Robert Baptiste, who goes by the pseudonym Elliot Alderson (@fs0c131y), on Twitter.

The app is leaking user data including email, date of birth, name, marital status and gender, claimed the hacker.

Also read: Microblogging app Koo raises $4 m in Series A funding

“I spent 30 min on this new Koo app. The app is leaking personal data of his [sic] users: email, dob, name, marital status, gender,” tweeted Baptiste.

Aprameya Radhakrishna, co-founder and CEO, Koo, responded to the claims on Twitter stating that the data that is visible is already provided by users on their profile.

“Some news about data leaking being spoken about unnecessarily. Please read this: The data visible is something that the user has voluntarily shown on their profile of Koo. It cannot be termed a data leak. If you visit a user profile you can see it anyway,” the Koo CEO tweeted.

“95 per cent of Koo users login through their mobile phone number. Language communities of India do not use email to login, and hence, was not the priority of the company. Email login was introduced recently. Now that concerns have been raised it has already been blocked from view,” he further added.

Baptiste, contradicting Radhakrishna’s comments said that details such as date of birth, marital status and gender were not publicly visible.

Koo popularity following the Indian Government’s tussle with the social media major. Various ministers from the Indian government, along with certain celebrities, have joined the platform.

Koo, earlier this month, had raised $4.1 million in Series A funding. Infosys veteran Mohandas Pai’s 3one4 Capital is the latest addition to the investors on board. Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital, Blume Ventures and Dream Incubator also participated in the round.

Also read: Speak your mind in Indian languages with Koo

The Koo CEO on Wednesday also issued a clarification regarding a Chinese investor on the platform who will be exiting fully.

“Koo is an India registered company with Indian founders. Raised earlier capital 2.5 years ago. Latest funds for Bombinate Technologies is led by a truly Indian investor 3one4 capital. Shunwei (single digit shareholder) which had invested in our Vokal journey will be exiting fully,” Radhakrishna had tweeted.

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Published on February 11, 2021
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