SC seeks response from tech giants on data used by UPIs

  •  February 1,2021 By IndianTelevision Team

KOLKATA: The Supreme Court has sought responses from tech giants including Google, Facebook, WhatsApp and Amazon in regards to a petition filed on data used by their Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

Communist Party of India MP Binoy Viswam has appealed to the top court to ensure that user data collected by third-party payment apps and e-wallets operated by players such as Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay and WhatsApp Payments, among others, is not misused by these technocrats. It has sought directions to be issued to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to formulate regulations to protect the users’ data and right to privacy.

Back in October 2020, the apex court had issued notices to the Centre and the RBI in the matter.

The petitioner has argued that the RBI and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) are compromising the interests of the Indian citizen "by allowing the non-compliant foreign entities to operate its payment service in India.”

According to the petition, the RBI and the NCPI has allowed these apps to participate in the payment ecosystem without much scrutiny. “This conduct of the RBI and the NPCI puts the sensitive financial data of Indian users at huge risks, especially when these entities have been continuously accused of abusing dominance, and compromising data, among other things."

However, the RBI has submitted that these companies comply with rules and regulations. It may be noted that during the last hearing, RBI had filed a counter-affidavit claiming that the responsibility to ensure that companies like Amazon, Google and WhatsApp operate in compliance with laws governing UPI lies with NPCI and not the central bank.

The next hearing in the matter will be held after four weeks, by which time all concerned parties are required to file their responses.