The Supreme Court has sought responses from Google, Facebook, Whatsapp and Amazon on the issue of Data protection on UPI platforms.
The order was passed in a plea filed by Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Viswam seeking directions to ensure that data of Indian citizens collected on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platforms is not misused by corporations and data protection should be ensured.
The petition filed has sought directions to be issued to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to formulate regulations to ensure that this data collected by UPI platforms is not misused and the right to privacy of the citizens in this regard is not violated.
It was pointed out petitioner’s counsel, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal that Whatsapp, Facebook etc have not filed any formal response in today’s hearing. The Court thus issued formal notice to the corporations to look into data protection.
The Court had earlier issued notice to Central government and Reserve Bank of India in the matter in October 2020.
The Petition further stated that, Millions of Indians use UPI platforms for making payments and with the RBI and NPCI allowing the “Big Four Tech Giants” to participate in this UPI ecosystem without much scrutiny, sensitive financial data of the Indian citizens is at risk of being misused.
Meanwhile, the RBI informed the Supreme Court that responsibility to ensure that tech giants like Whatsapp, Google and Amazon comply with rules and regulations governing Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platforms, lies not with the RBI but with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for data protection.
In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court in December 2020, the RBI said Third Party App Providers (TPAPs) are not given any sanction by the RBI under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (PSS Act).
RBI also said that it has to be ensured that “any regulatory measures do not disrupt the ongoing payment transactions under the existing payment and settlement systems of the country or adversely affect the interests of the general public.”
The matter will now be heard after four weeks.