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MTNL says its injected ads don’t capture user data, but we are not convinced

Government owned telecom operator MTNL has said in an RTI reply (pdf) that its advertising vendor, which injects ads into users Internet connections, does not capture any personal information of users, ‘as per the certificate given by it (vendor)’. The reply came from a second appeal filed by Sushubh Mittal seeking details about MTNL’s injected ads/service messages on browsers via its broadband network. (Source: Github) Mittal had asked MTNL to clarify the following in his RTI: – a copy of the circular which said that the MTNL decided to start injecting browser popup ads on its service – the technology used for this – the provider of the technology and a copy of the agreement made with the said company to get this service – name of the company operating the service on behalf of MTNL and the charges MTNL paid for it – a copy of the agreement of revenue sharing if there was one such in place – the number of ads delivered and revenue made through the platform and – the details of user data and who has access to this user data However, MTNL refused to provide information about its injected ads by invoking Section 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act, but said that its ad vendor does not record user data. In March, Mittal had filed a different RTI seeking the above details; but  MTNL refused to provide answers to all queries by invoking Section 8(1)(d). Section 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act which states that, “information including…

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