Praveen's Blog

An Eternal Quest for Incremental Improvement

Privacy issue in Chennai Passport Office status enquiry page

-> I have no affiliation with the Passport Office. I wouldn't be able to answer any questions about passport statuses. Please don't ask me about your case. <-

The site of Regional Passport Office of Chennai has a page to inquire about the passport application case status. If you just enter the passport application file number, the status of the case is provided. The output has information about the full name of the applicant, passport number, date of birth and the date of delivery of the passport. Please note that the input that is needed to fetch this data is just the application file number. No other verification information needed. This is a serious privacy issue. You can't let your passport number and date of birth to be seen by random people. On the worse side, one can write a script to go through a list of file numbers and collect a database of these valuable information.

If I am correct, when I used this facility in 2003, I had to enter the application file number and my date of birth to fetch the information about any case. This was providing some level of authentication before disclosing the information about a case. Maybe this feature was broken and nobody noticed it. I have sent a mail to the Regional Passport Officer about this issue. I hope that they fix this issue soon.