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Plea alleges unauthorized access of Aadhaar, banking data by GPay: HC seeks RBI, UIDAI response


New Delhi: The Delhi high court Wednesday sought a response from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on a PIL alleging unauthorized access, use and storage of users’ Aadhaar and banking information by Google Pay. A bench of chief justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh issued notice on the petition and also sought the stand of Google India Digital Services Pvt. Ltd.

The bench fixed November 8 as the next date of hearing on the petition filed by Abhijit Mishra, a financial economist, who said that the “Terms and Conditions” of Google Pay “explicitly states that the company will be storing the payment instruction details of the parties including Bank Accounts and Aadhaar details” even though no permission to undertake such a practice has been issued by the concerned authorities.

“The unauthorized/unlicensed/unregistered entity Respondent No. 3 i.e. Google Pay is collecting the Aadhaar and banking transaction details of the citizens of India which is a sheer violation of the above-mentioned act along with Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” said the plea filed through lawyer Payal Bahl.

Being a private company, Google Pay is not empowered to collect, use and store Aadhaar and Banking information of the citizens, it added.

In another PIL, the petitioner has claimed that Google’s mobile payment app, Google Pay or GPay in short, was facilitating financial transactions without the requisite authorisation from RBI.

Google Pay was acting as a payments system provider in violation of the Payments and Settlements Act as it has no valid authorisation from the central bank of the country to carry out such functions, it contended.

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In response to that claim, Google India Digital Services last year told the court that Google Pay did not require RBI authorisation as it is not a payment system operator (PSO) but a third party application provider.

RBI had earlier told the court that Google Pay is a third-party app provider (TPAP) and does not operate any payment systems.

Therefore, its operations are not in violation of the Payment and Settlement System Act of 2007, RBI had said.



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