Indian company Paytm alleged to provide IoK user data to Modi’s office
SRINAGAR: An Indian mobile wallet company, Paytm, has been alleged to provide personal data of people in Indian Occupied Kashmir to a political party on request from Indian Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), according to Kashmir Media Service (KMS).
The company’s bosses said that they are affiliated with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in a sting operation by investigative news website, Cobrapost.
In a video, which was a part of Cobrapost’s investigation 'Operation-136 II', Paytm’s Senior Vice-President Ajay Shekhar Sharma shared that the PMO wanted personal data of Paytm’s users to find out if some of the users were those who threw stones during protests in Kashmir last year.
“When the stone-pelting stopped there in Jammu and Kashmir, 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,” Shekhar remarked in the video.
Shekhar reportedly has also told the undercover journalist that when he met him and other senior officials on the pretext of being sent by the Sangathan (RSS) to fulfill the assignment received directly from the Sangathan under a secret arrangement.
“RSS is in my blood, I have attended RSS shakhas too,” Shekhar has reportedly revealed.
Paytm, however, has rubbished the allegations, claiming that there is no truth in them.
It put out a statement saying, “There is a video going around on social media and it falsely claims that we shared some data with 3rd parties. Nothing can be further from the truth. We never share your 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. Our policy allows only legally compliant data requests through a thorough process from law of the land to get access to data for necessary investigations.”
According to Tech Crunch, Paytm had 230 million users in India last year. A registered user has to complete their KYC with providing two government ids (Aadhaar, Passport, PAN card, Ration Card) for them to be able to use the app and make transfers to other people.
While Paytm promises to keep such data secure, Shekhar’s comments have revealed that users are at the risk of being targeted and their data like Aadhaar and bank account numbers being shared.