KARACHI: Personal information, including CNIC and phone numbers, of thousands of volunteers reportedly registered for the Corona Relief Tiger Force (CRTF) are being shared online, Dawn has learned.
The CRTF is set to formally become operational across the country today.
Reports of the data being leaked first emerged on social media on Sunday.
“PDF files and images containing personal data of thousands of Corona Relief Tiger Force volunteers including CNICs, mobile numbers etc being casually and illegally shared on different unofficial WhatsApp groups,” cyber-analyst Zaki Khalid wrote on Twitter.
The documents — available with Dawn — comprise information about volunteers who allegedly registered from Punjab’s Kasur, Khushab, Pasrur, Chunian and Pattoki districts.
Corona Relief Tiger Force becomes operational today
Among the files being openly shared on WhatsApp groups, is a signed order purportedly issued by the Pasrur assistant commissioner, detailing private information of Tiger Force members.
“The following members of Tiger Force will remain available at the Utility Store mentioned against their names,” reads the order dated April 28.
The documents list the names of the volunteers, CNIC, contact, tehsil, union council, age, profession, qualification, skills and status of registration.
From Kasur, the list comprises details of 8,000 people, over 4,029 from Pasrur, 2,000 from Khushab, while the document from Pattoki tehsil is 123-page long and 172 for Chunian.
So far, there is no confirmation from the government if the documents are authentic.
A source told Dawn that such information had been shared with district commissioners, who had now been alerted to not pass on private information.
When asked how did they access the lists, the users sharing the documents said they had received them from other WhatsApp groups — indicating that the lists were now easily accessible.
Earlier in a press conference on Thursday, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) Usman Dar had said that around a million people had registered themselves for the CRTF that included doctors, engineers, lawyers, retired army personnel and others.
He had also mentioned that the tiger force volunteers would help maintain social distancing among buyers at over 4,000 Utility Stores across the country, besides informing the local administrations about the stock availability of those items on which the government had given subsidy of billions of rupees.
Giving the break-up, the SAPM had said more than 300,000 students, 133,000 social workers, 50,000 doctors, 40,000 teachers and 17,000 health workers had registered themselves to render their volunteer services for the country in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the skill sets mentioned in the shared documents, the volunteers are indeed from diverse backgrounds, including engineers, marketing and IT professionals, drivers, and contractors.
Interestingly, there are barely any women volunteers from the five districts.
Dawn had reported that the highest number of over 619,000 volunteers had got themselves registered as CRTF members in Punjab, followed by over 154,000 in Sindh, 135,000 in KP, nearly 14,000 in Balochistan, 13,800 in Islamabad, 11,300 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and 5,800 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2020