ANI Photo | Pakistan: Parliament Accounts Committee orders probe in NADRA data leak

The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) was accused of leaking citizens’ data on Thursday, The Nation reported, adding that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the parliament ordered the interior ministry to look into the situation.
The information of military officials was leaked, bringing new attention to data security vulnerabilities that have been existing for a while. This shows how severe the threat is and how it continues to disclose gaps in our digital ecosystem, the report noted.
According to sources, the interior ministry has been requested to investigate the data breach in cooperation with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and Military Intelligence. The PTA was instructed to block the leaked data during the PAC meeting, as per The Nation.
The Nation is a daily newspaper based in Lahore, Pakistan.
The IT sector and advocates for digital rights have been drawing attention to this issue for long, the report stated, adding that the ease with which the personal information of such high-profile individuals may be compromised simply serves to demonstrate how vulnerable everyone’s data is right now.
While the PAC is right to demand that individuals responsible for the data leaks be held accountable and made public, there are also larger questions of legislation and data security systems that require immediate attention, according to The Nation.
High-level authorities are implicated in this national security issue, and if the data falls into the wrong hands, a lot might go wrong in the age of terrorism and cyberwarfare, the report noted further.
Additionally, this is a concern for user rights and privacy, and the leaking of personal information has given rise to a scamming industry, particularly when it comes to bank accounts and applications that collect users’ payment information, it added.
Such loopholes in the digital ecosystem will not only prevent the government from achieving its aim of digital transformation, but they will also discourage IT nations from setting up bases here in Pakistan, it stated further.
In order to force the relevant authorities to strengthen data protection safeguards, this probe should go beyond simply prosecuting those accountable for the data leaks, The Nation reported.

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