Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) interrogates with Paytm and Google over China links

On Thursday, the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the Personal Data Protection Bill questioned the Indian e-commerce payment system and financial technology company ‘Paytm’ over if they had any Chinese speculations and posted interrogations to US multinational technology giant Google over the requirement of a regulatory mechanism in its functioning.

However, the companies, Paytm and google have now been asked by the parliamentary committee to submit a written affidavit giving a detailed response to a series of questions posed over their formal structure, access to data, taxation, privacy and data storage among others.

Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) which has already heard views of Facebook, Twitter and Amazon, is expanding its ambit scrutiny and has programmed six rounds of meetings spread over three days next week with representatives of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, Ola, Jio Platforms Ltd, Uber Technologies Inc., Bharti Airtel and true caller.

Besides, during the JCP meeting with representatives of Google, the parliamentarians interrogated about the market control of the platform since all android phones have to use Google and questions were also raised about the transfer of data outside India. The American technology giant Google was also questioned over what they were doing to regulate themselves particularly concerning its transparency policy and content sensitivity.

Moreover, the Indian e-commerce payment company ‘Paytm’ too has been asked to give an affidavit on questions of their organization structure, financial interests, its firm norms over data privacy and what they do with access to data.

The concentration of parliamentary committee members interrogating with Paytm spokesperson was predominantly over possible Chinese investments which they orally declined in the meeting.

Furthermore, the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill 2019 was introduced in Lok Sabha in December last year and seeks to set-up a Data Protection Authority between concerns from lawmakers over citizens right to privacy and the JPC chaired senior BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi, was formed in December year last.

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