Careless! BSNL Flashes User’s Contact Number Online; Info Still Up From Last 3 Days

The telco seems to pay no heed to privacy.

bsnl privacy
Image: Fossbytes / Priye Rai

Guess following up online with BSNL about a service-related issue is a grave privacy risk. An unfortunate customer found this out the hard way when the telecom firm recklessly posted his landline number on Twitter.

In an episode of bizarre disregard for privacy, BSNL’s Twitter handle (@BSNLCorporate) revealed confidential information of one of its users without his explicit consent. This happened when “@dileepkush” complained to the Indian telecom giant about his fiber internet connection.

The BSNL user tweeted that his internet had been down for a day with no concrete technical resolution from the end of the telco. The person even specifically mentioned he had shared the issue with BSNL’s Twitter via Direct Message (DM), obviously implying he wanted the exchange to take place there.

However, the firm’s Twitter admin seems to have paid no attention to the “DM” part. In a straightforward reply, BSNL India reported the problem’s resolved status along with the complainant’s telephone number.


Not a one-off error but a reckless habit

This might seem like a once-in-a-blue-moon error, but digging through the older replies of the telco tells us that this has been in practice for a long time. The company’s Twitter account seems to have no second thoughts sharing complete telephone details on a public platform.

However, in some cases, customers have shared their own confidential details with BSNL’s Twitter, which still reflects that the user has no issue going public with his info and implicitly is allowing the telco to do the same, if needed, in its replies. Contrastingly, in @dileepkush’s case, the user went so far as to directly ask BSNL India to delete the post showing his landline number — but, to no avail.

Later, the aggrieved user expressed his anguish about the incident in another tweet. Notably, he pointed out how this complacent attitude towards privacy emphasizes the need for Data Protection laws in India.

Since being originally compiled in 2019, the Personal Data Protection Bill hasn’t yet been passed. Earlier this year, it was withdrawn from the Lok Sabha reportedly due to a lack of comprehensiveness. It’s expected that the same concerns might instead be addressed by a rumored Digital India Act instead.

Priye Rai

Priye Rai

Priye is a tech writer at Fossbytes, who writes about gaming and anything remotely related to tech, including smartphones, apps, OTT, etc. He prefers to be called a "video game journalist" and grimaces when he doesn't get to be "Player 1." If you want to talk about games or send any feedback, drop him a mail at [email protected]
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