The phone numbers, email IDs and addresses of hundreds of thousands of applicants who took the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) in 2018 were available online, for a payment of up to Rs 2 lakh, The Wire has reported. Neetdata.com, the website in question, has since been taken down. NEET in a medical entrance exam for MBBS and BDS (dental courses) for admission into various private and government colleges throughout the country. The exam is convened by the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) every year. The website provided the above data of NEET applicants from at least upto 15 states, including significantly larger states such as Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and so on. The Wire report clarifies that the website did not offer the entire 'NEET database', as over 13 lakh individuals took NEET in 2018, while the data of 2.4 lakh people was available for purchase. [caption id="attachment_187421" align="aligncenter" width="728"] Credit: Internet Archive[/caption] [caption id="attachment_187420" align="aligncenter" width="727"] The suspended neetdata.com website.[/caption] Note that the NEET exam is conducted for MBBS and BDS programmes for students who have passed Class XII. There is a high likelihood that the leak included sensitive personal data of underage candidates, as the corresponding age while appearing for Class XII is usually 17 or 18 years. According to The Wire, which scoured the database, the website opened with a statement proposing the sale of such data: “Many consultants across India trust us for their database needs. Our database prices will be on the…
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