Privacy fears grow in India after police pulls payment data from Razorpay: Prashanto K. Roy, A New Delhi-based public policy consultant is concerned. In 2017 he began making regular donations to Indian fact-checking organization Alt News to support its work in combating online disinformation. But on July 5th, a non-profit Said Razorpay, an Indian payments gateway used to receive donations, shared data of its donors with the New Delhi Police after the arrest of Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair last month.
Roy is now hesitant to use Razorpay, saying he worries about tech companies handing over data, including his own, to law enforcement without consent. “When a payment gateway provides donor databases on overwhelming police demand, that information can be misused by the police or others with access to it,” he said. “India doesn’t even have privacy laws yet.”
The full extent of the data Razorpay shared with police remains unclear, but Alt News Said Data collected from donors includes phone numbers, email addresses, and tax IDs. A police officer Said The Hindustan Times that they are collecting data from force banks for cross reference with alt news data.
The investigation appears to be part of an ongoing probe by the police to check whether Alt News received donations from outside India. mentioned The company’s parent received funding from several other countries, including Pakistan and Syria. Zubair, the co-founder of Alt News, was arrested on June 27 for a tweet he made in 2018 that allegedly hurt religious sentiments, but is also being investigated for other offenses. receiving foreign funds under the Foreign Contribution (Control) Act of India, which restricts foreign contributions Non-profit.
While the arrest has left many Indians worried that police are curtailing internet freedom, it also highlighted the limited legal protections on privacy in the world’s largest democracy. lacks Comprehensive Data Protection Act. The stakes are rising as more people in India use the Internet for leisure, communications and commerce. The country’s digital payments market—already worth $3 trillion—is expected to reach $10 trillion by 2026. According to to Boston Consulting Group.
Razorpay has faced social media backlash and threats Expulsion For sharing donor data without first notifying Alt News. “Many donors and fundraisers said they would never use RazerPay again, and that was my initial response,” said Roy, adding that perhaps other companies have come under similar pressure from the police.
In a public statement to Twitter, Razorpay didn’t mention Alt News and said the data shared was “limited to what’s under investigation.” Razorpay CEO Harshil Mathur said the police were trying to “confirm whether there were any foreign donations” and that the tax IDs and addresses of the donors had not been shared. Razorpay did not respond to a request for comment; Alt News co-founder Pratik Sinha also declined to comment.