SC to take up PIL seeking guidelines for UTI platforms next week

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 20

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to take up next week CPI Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Viswam’s petition seeking direction to the RBI to frame guidelines to ensure that data collected on United Payments Interface (UPI) platforms were not exploited for purposes other than processing payments.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde – which had on October 15 asked the Centre, the RBI, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and others, including Google Inc, Facebook Inc, WhatsApp and Amazon Inc, to respond to Vishwam’s petition – posted the matter for hearing on November 23.

Viswam wanted the top court to direct the RBI and the NPCI to ensure that data collected on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platforms is not shared with their parent company or any other third party under any circumstances.

In India, the UPI payments system is regulated and supervised by RBI and NPCI. However the RBI and the NPCI instead of fulfilling their statutory obligations and protecting and securing the sensitive data of users are compromising the interest of the Indian users by allowing the non-compliant foreign entities to operate its payment services in India, he alleged.

The RBI and NPCI have permitted the three members of ‘Big Four Tech Giants’, i.e., Amazon, Google and Facebook/WhatsApp (Beta phase) to participate in the UPI ecosystem without much scrutiny and in spite of blatant violations of UPI guidelines and RBI regulations, he alleged.

The conduct of RBI and NPCI put 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 petitioner submitted.


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