The Supreme Court on Monday sought responses from technology companies Google, Facebook, Whatsapp and Amazon, on a plea seeking directions to ensure that data collected of Indian citizens on Unified Payments Interface platforms, or online payment apps, is not misused by these corporations, Bar and Bench reported.
A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian was hearing a plea filed by Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Viswam, seeking directions to the Reserve Bank of India and the National Payments Corporation of India in the matter, according to PTI.
In October last year, the court had issued a notice to the companies and the Centre. However, in Monday’s hearing, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Viswam pointed out that the companies have not filed any formal response, Bar and Bench reported. The Supreme Court then issued formal notices to the four companies and said that if they fail to reply, the allegation made in the plea will be accepted, PTI reported.
In December last year, the RBI had told the Supreme Court in an affidavit that it has no responsibility to conduct audit of members of United Payments Interface ecosystem and that the onus lies with NPCI, which owns and operates the UPI platform, according to PTI.
In his petition, Viswam had submitted that the RBI and NPCI should ensure that data collected by these companies for the purpose of facilitating payments is not shared with their parent companies or any other third parties. He had argued that with 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.