The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notices to the Centre, Google, Amazon, Facebook and WhatsApp on a petition filed by Communist Party of India MP Binoy Viswam, seeking directions to ensure that the data of Indian citizens collected on Unified Payments Interface platforms is not misused by these corporations, the Hindustan Times reported.
Viswan urged the court to direct Reserve Bank of India to frame necessary regulations for the same.
“We will issue notice,” a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A Bobde said. “Here there is apprehension that the entire regime of payments will commence before the entire regulatory framework is put in place.”
Senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing Viswam, said the central bank in its April 2018 circular had asked the multinational firms to ensure data transacted on these forums is secured in a server within India. This order, which was to be complied by October 2018, was not done, he added.
He also told the court that messaging platform WhatsApp stores data with its parent company Facebook, which has server outside India.
Viswam’s petition also sought that the National Payments Corporation of India, which owns and operates the UPI platform, make sure that data collected by UPI apps operated by these companies not be shared with their parent company or any other third party under any circumstances, according to Medianama.
It also claimed that the RBI and NPCI have allowed Amazon, Google and Facebook/WhatsApp to participate in the UPI 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,” the petition said.