The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notices to Centre, Google, Amazon and Facebook and WhatsApp over a petition by Communist Party of India (CPI) MP Binoy Viswam seeking data protection of transactions made over UPIs.
The petitioner's lawyer told the top court that even as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued directions in April 2018 asking the tech giants to store the data of Indian citizens collected on Unified Payments Interface platforms in servers within India, it has still not been complied.
"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," Hindustan Times also reported citing the bench as saying.
The notices were also issued to RBI and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
"The RBI and NPCI, instead of looking into such allegations (of data protection) have turned a blind eye and have permitted the operation of Amazon, Google, and WhatsApp in the UPI platform even contrary to public interest. This at a time when India has banned host of Chinese applications on the ground that these applications were or could be used for data theft," the petition read.
Meanwhile, the Personal Data Protection Bill, which proposes to put restrictions on use of personal data without explicit consent of citizens, is likely to be tabled in the next year's Budget session of Parliament. The draft of the bill, approved by the Cabinet in December 2019, proposes a penalty of up to Rs 15 crore and up to three-year jail term for company executives for violating privacy norms.