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RBI builds pressure on Google Pay to store data locally, writes note to IT Ministry

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Months after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) directed all payment players to ensure data related to payment system be stored inside the country, the central bank is now specifically asking companies to follow the rules.

After Amazon and WhatsApp, the RBI has asked Google Pay (earlier known as Tez) to shift user data of its digital payments platform on local servers.

The central bank has also written to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to push the company to follow the regulatory norms.

Also Read: PhonePe tears apart Google, FB over data localisation: Hails RBI for level playing field

The RBI’s tough stand against the tech giant is based on the wisdom that Google has the scope to use the user data to its own advantage.

Recently, former Supreme Court Judge Justice BN Srikrishna led committee also recommended that every data fiduciary in India shall ensure the storage of at least one serving copy of personal data on a server or data centre located in India.

The RBI’s note to the IT ministry was written two months ago but is reported a few days after Google CEO Sundar Pichai advocated free flow of data beyond borders and written to IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad saying the step will encourage startups and global firms to contribute to India digital economy.

Under data localisation law, Google has to hand over data on content like your Gmail messages, documents you’ve saved, videos watched on YouTube, or any web activity that falls under Google’s umbrella.

The international giants such as Amazon, Google, Mastercard, Visa and Facebook, have been lobbying against the circular and asking for an extension of the deadline.

However, local players—Paytm, PhonePe and MobiKwik and many others—have appreciated the government’s plan for data localisation.  

The development was first reported by Moneycontrol.

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