WhatsApp shares your financial data with third parties including Facebook

WhatsApp

It seems the point of financial data security raised against Facebook-owned WhatsApp is going to be true. On one side Mark Zuckerberg-led firm has been facing a tough time for an alleged data leak controversy with Cambridge Analytica, now his wholly owned messenger app WhatsApp reveals that it may share your financial data with the parent entity.

Since the announcement of yet to be launched WhatsApp UPI service, the US-based instant messenger’s would be rival – Paytm’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has been lambasting its policies related to privacy and data security.

The company’s updated privacy policy corroborates Sharma’s claim of Facebook may risk financial data of Indian users.

According to company’s third-party information column in Legal info section, it says that “We share information with third-party providers and services to help us operate and improve Payments. To send payment instructions to PSPs, maintain your transaction history, provide customer support, and keep our Services safe and secure, including to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, safety, security, abuse, or other misconduct, we share information we collect under this Payments Privacy Policy with third-party service providers including Facebook.”

The column further added, “To provide Payments to you, we share information with third-party services including PSPs, such as your mobile phone number, registration information, device identifiers, VPAs, the sender’s UPI PIN, and payment amount.”

Over the past couple of months, Sharma has been blaming the company for putting country’s financial data at risk and that can be misused in multiple ways. He also added that WhatsApp will not share any data with the Indian government if a situation arises, as had happened recently with the markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

Following the updated privacy policy, many users took Twitter to take on WhatsApp.

Now seeing the recent worldwide criticism, WhatsApp data share with Facebook adds another thread to the month-long tirade. If any further leakage of data happens, Facebook will have to be again accountable for multiple reasons.

WhatsApp has been under scanner since its beta launch of UPI as it was not following the rules imposed for other existing players in this space. However, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) had clarified that WhatsApp UPI is in beta phase with a limited user base of one million users and have a low per transaction limit.

WhatsApp will have to follow the same set of rules before it gets fully operational.

Taking a serious step towards this, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked all payment players to ensure data related to payment system be stored inside the country within six months. According to RBI, it will ensure the safety and security of payment system.

The development was first reported by Mint.

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