Alert! WhatsApp may be sharing your Digital payments data with its Parent company Facebook

The Facebook acquired popular messaging platform WhatsApp, has one billion users globally and is one of the most popular mediums of instant messaging in India. Facebook in India has over 200 million users and the firm last week informed the government that about 335 people’s data was compromised because of the Facebook data leak case. In this aftermath of Facebook data leak case, WhatsApp has come under attack from critics.

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The most popular messaging service, WhatsApp launched digital payments service for some of its users in February. Based on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform, WhatsApp is soon to extend the service to all users in India. Now, WhatsApp said it may share users’ digital payments data with its parent company Facebook, at a time when Facebook is dealing with questions about how it uses customer data.

As per one of the clauses in Whatsapp’s privacy policy reads, “We share information with third-party providers and services to help us operate and improve Payments… To send payment instructions to PSPs (payment service providers), 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”. It also adds, “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 (virtual payments addresses), the sender’s UPI PIN, and payment amount”.

According to a circular by the National Payments Council of India (NPCI), the body that oversees the UPI platform, the banks associated with third-party payment apps like WhatsApp and PhonePe need to get exclusive permission from NPCI before they share customer data. However, WhatsApp rivals Paytm and Flipkart-owned PhonePe, too, have privacy policies that state that these companies may share customer data.

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