US-based IT firm Sprinklr was engaged by the Kerala government to analyse the data related to COVID-19 patients in the state.

Ragy Thomas CEO of US based company SprinklrRagy Thomas-CEO of Sprinklr (Credits: Twitter/Ragy Thomas)
Coronavirus Controversy Sunday, May 24, 2020 - 08:55

The US-based IT firm Sprinklr, which was engaged by the Kerala government to analyse the data related to COVID-19 patients in the state, has informed the Kerala High Court that it has deleted all back-up data shared with it by the state government.

Sprinklr filed an affidavit in this regard in the High Court on May 18, prior to the state government informing the court that the US-based company will have no role in analysing the data of COVID-19 patients in the state.

In its affidavit, the company has said it had received a letter from the state government on May 16, directing it to delete all back-up data it had received prior to the High Court's interim order of April 24.

"The respondent company (Sprinklr) hereby confirms and declares that pursuant to the instructions under the government of Kerala's letter dated May 16, the respondent company has permanently deleted all such backup data, and no data whatsoever, received by the respondent company from the government of Kerala, prior to the order dated April 24, 2020, remain with the company," it has said in the affidavit filed in response to a petition seeking quashing of the state government's contract with Sprinklr.

In his plea, petitioner Balu Gopalakrishnan had said the only concern is whether the data stored in the web server of the company is safe and whether it can be used by the company for monetary gains.

The state government, on May 21, had submitted in the court that it has now "full and exclusive ownership of the data" which will be analysed by state-owned Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (CDIT).

On April 24, the High Court had restrained the US-based IT firm from analysing or processing the data related to COVID-19 patients and directed it to retransfer any data it has obtained to the state government.

In an interim order on a plea seeking to quash the state government's contract with Sprinklr, the High Court had also directed the state government to anonymise all data of COVID-19 patients collected by it and allow the IT firm to access data only after completing the anonymisation process.

Read: Reading the judgment: What the Kerala HC said on the Sprinklr controversy

The state government had entered into a contract with the IT company based out of the US, owned by a non-resident Keralite, wherein the data of suspected and actual COVID-19 patients will be collected using government machinery and is uploaded to the foreign firm's web server on a daily basis.

The IT company, in turn, will provide actual data to the state machinery after analysis, for better understanding and treatment of the pandemic.

Earlier, the Kerala government had filed a statement in the court, rejecting charges of illegality in its IT contract with a US firm for processing data related to COVID- 19 patients in the state and contended that initiation of penal action for breach would fall within the ambit of Indian IT Act.

The main demand of the opposition Congress and the BJP was to cancel the agreement.

Read: Explained: Allegations against Kerala govt on privacy breach of COVID-19 patients

The Centre had also filed a preliminary statement in connection with the case, saying sharing sensitive data, especially of health-related information of a large number of people, is to be resorted to in a careful manner.

Read: COVID-19 database transferred from Sprinklr to stateā€™s cloud: Kerala tells HC

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