Jio Mart’s policy on privacy, data handling may need revisit – Livemint

Jio Mart, Reliance Retail’s answer to Amazon and Grofers, went national Saturday. Given that its success, if it happens, will also depend on sister concern Jio Platforms’ 380 million and growing subscriber base, there are concerns around how privacy and data handling issues will be dealt by the online retail format. Social media giant, Facebook, which has had its own battles with regulators world over on data privacy issues, holds 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries.

Sanchit Vir Gogia, chief analyst and founder of Greyhound Research, pointed out several fallacies in the service’s privacy policy via a series of tweets on Sunday.

Amongst the issues Gogia pointed out is how Jio treats the user’s personal data on the platform. The company’s privacy policy puts the liability for sharing personal data on the user, stating that users must “ensure strict caution” while sharing personal information with the platform, which is common across many platforms now. The policy also states that personal information will be shared with third parties, through cookies etc.

The policy also absolves Jio of any responsibility in case one of the third parties getting data from the platform is breached. “It is expressly stated that the company shall not be responsible for any breach of security or for any action of any third parties that receive Users’ personal data or events that are beyond the reasonable control of the Company including, acts of government, computer hacking, unauthorized access to computer data and storage device, computer crashes, breach of security and encryption etc,” the policy states.

A privacy lawyer pointed out that while Jio may make such a claim on its policy, it doesn’t protect the company in the case of a breach. “If there is a breach due to violation of Section 43A of the IT Act or of the rules framed thereunder, they will certainly be liable,” said N.S. Nappinai, cyber-law expert and Supreme Court lawyer. She added that “there is also criminal liability” under Section 72A and there cannot even be a claim of waiver when it comes to criminal liability.”

Further, the privacy policy also advises users to clear cookies if they do not agree with the company’s policy. “A user may set or amend his/her/its web browsers to delete or disable cookies. If a user chooses to disable cookies on his/her/its computer or mobile telecommunication device, it may impair, degrade or restrict access to certain areas of the Platforms. Merely closing the web browser should ordinarily clear all temporary cookies installed by the company. However, users are encouraged to use the ‘clear cookies’ functionality of their browsers to ensure deletion, as the company cannot guarantee, predict or provide for the behaviour of the equipment of all the users of the Platforms,” the policy states.

Mint reached out to Jio for a statement on its privacy policy. The story will be updated as and when the company responds

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