The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has reportedly sought a clear clarification from tech giant Google and instant messaging app WhatsApp about how both companies plan to store all the data related to Indian users within the geographical territory of the country.
According to sources, NPCI had sent a letter to this effect to both companies few weeks back. As per a leading daily financial, the regulatory body has stated in the letter that its stand on data storage aligns with the stance taken by the Reserve Bank of India.
India’s central bank had set the deadline of second week of October for all the payment companies to store all the data within India, which means the data’s of Indian users should not be sent abroad.
Online payment companies claim that they do store payments data in India. However, companies also maintain that they are keeping a mirror copy of the data abroad, which potentially violates the RBI guidelines.
WhatsApp, whose online payment is yet to take off in India on full-fledged basis, recently stated that it has started storing payment data in India. However, the instant messaging giant refused to shed light on whether it is strong the data exclusively in India.
Google, which operates payment services under the brand name Google Tez, hasn’t so far publicly spoken about its stance on payment data storage.
By the way, the data storage and privacy issue isn’t merely affecting the online payment companies. In fact, it is affecting pretty much every big and small tech companies. So much so that today data privacy issue has caused huge crises in a big social media company like Facebook.
In today’s day and age when internet has penetrated into our day to day lives, the government as well as society by and large wants to know how big tech companies like Google, Facebook and Apple are using the data’s of millions of its users. They actually want to ensure that big tech companies are not exploiting the sensitive data pertaining to the personal lives of their users for commercial purpose.
In this context, NPCI and RBI’s diktat to Google and WhatsApp doesn’t appear to be unreasonable at all.