Paytm Vehemently Denies Data Sharing Allegations After Sting Operation!
Paytm is facing severe backlash from users over this data privacy issue
The sensitive issue of users’ data privacy is now slowly but gradually seeping into Indian startup ecosystem, as the new age digital companies in India are facing some tough questions.
Paytm, India’s largest digital wallet and now a major payments bank backed by Chinese digital czar Alibaba has became the first such Indian startup to face the backlash regarding this issue.
And this backlash came after a stunning sting operation against their Senior Vice President Ajay Shekhar Sharma.
Paytm has vehemently denied all allegations, but the damage has been done.
Sting Operation Against Paytm!
Cobrapost, a news publication founded by Aniruddha Bahal, who was the co-founder of Tehelka, has published a video wherein a sting operation has been shown against Paytm’s Senior Vice President Ajay Shekhar Sharma.
In the video, Sharma allegedly says that after the stone pelting incident in Kashmir last year, Prime Minister Office asked Paytm to share user’s data, to confirm and identify stone pelters.
In the video, Sharma says, “When the stone-pelting stopped there in J&K, I personally got a phone call from the PMO. They told us to give them data saying maybe some of the stone-pelters are Paytm users. Do you understand.”
This video was shared yesterday, and quickly become viral as users of Paytm expressed their disappointment and shock over this.
How can Paytm share their users’ data to Govt., without their consent, asked thousands of users.
Incidentally, this sting operation was shared publicly on the same day when General Data Protection Regulation guidelines came into force in Europe, which deals with the issue of users’ data and its privacy.
Paytm: No Truth In Allegations, No Data Shared!
After the severe backlash,Paytm had to come out and pacify their users about data sharing allegation.
In a blog post, Paytm has vehemently denied any and all allegations of data sharing, and have assured users that their data is their data, not Paytm’s data.
Paytm said, “We never share your (user) data with anyone: any company/ any government or any country. At Paytm, your data is yours. Not ours, or of a third party, or of the government,”
However, in a cleverly worded statement, Paytm has also informed all users that in case a legal request does come to them to access user’s data, then they will have to share it.
In the same blog post, Paytm said, “Our policy allows ONLY legally compliant data requests from the law of the land to get access to data for necessary investigations.”
In the end Paytm talks about the ‘holy grail of trust’ between them and the users, and they have assured that this won’t be broken, ever.
Is this enough? We don’t know yet, but one thing is clear: Indians are now rising up to the data privacy issue, and this is just the start.
We would like to know your opinions, on this matter!