- WhatsApp has assured the Supreme Court that only a trial run of its payments service is underway at present and that it would comply with Reserve Bank of India(RBI) norms before launching the full version.
- This assurance came when the Supreme Court was hearing a petition seeking directions for the messaging platform to comply with RBI data localisation norms for its payments service.
- Data localisation is the act of storing data on any device physically present within the borders of a country.Localisation mandates that companies collecting critical data about consumers must store and process them within the borders of the country.
- The RBI circular has said that to run a payment service in India,a company must have its offices and payments in India.This rule appears to be violated by Whatsapp considering that it is a foreign company having no offices or servers in India.
- The main intent behind data localisation is to protect the personal and financial information of the country’s citizens and residents from foreign surveillance and give local governments and regulators the jurisdiction to call for the data when required.
- Further,data localisation is essential to national security.Storing of data locally is expected to help law-enforcement agencies to access information that is needed for the detection of a crime or to gather evidence.
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