Wednesday, October 4

Cobrapost Sting Accuses Paytm for Sharing Data with PMO

Cobrapost news portal conducted a sting operation and it claimed the digital wallet firm, Paytm has breached the user’s privacy by sharing user data related to the details of the protestors in the Kashmir Valley with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on receiving orders from them.

In the 13 minutes long video, the cobrapost has exposed the senior Paytm members (Sudhanshu Gupta, Vice President; Ajay Shekhar Sharma, Sr. Vice President of Paytm) accepting that they have shared data with PMO after they got a call. This sting operation was a part of Cobrapost’s investigation ‘Operation-136 II’, in which Ajay Shekhar Sharma (brother of Paytm founder Operation-136 II) said that someone from the PMO asked for data of users to identify stone-pelters.

Cobrapost’s reporter Pushp Sharma used the name Acharya Chhatra Pal Atal and stated that he was a part of an NGO affiliated to the RSS. In his conversation with Ajay Shekhar Sharma, the Paytm member made a statement that he is very close to various core members of RSS and also boasted about his relationship with the Sangh which made his political affiliations quite clear. He also stated that the victory of BJP was due to the RSS.

The video shows Sharma saying, “We got a call personally from the PMO asking us to give them the data. They said that maybe there were Paytm users (among those they were looking for).”

However, the e-commerce payment giant refused all the charges made against them, saying that there is no truth in it at all. Paytm rubbished all the accusations and claimed that their user data is 100 percent safe and secure. Further, it added that they have never shared the user data with anyone other than law enforcement agencies on request. The video shows Sharma expressing that the PMO asked for the data but there is no mention of whether Paytm accepted the demand or not.

Though Paytm has denied accepting these allegations, the truth is yet to be revealed to the public who have been trusting the company for a long time for their safe and secure payments. They claim, at Paytm, your data is yours, not ours, or of the third party, or the government. The company may have fallen prey to the conspiracy of other political parties. The country’s population has a lot of expectations from Paytm that has built such a powerful brand image in a short span.

“There is absolutely NO TRUTH in the sensational headlines of a video doing rounds on social media. Our users’ data is 100 percent secure and has never been shared with anyone except law enforcement agencies on request. Thank you for your continued support,” paytm said in a tweet.

If we believe what the cobrapost claims, one thing is clear that the new age tech-oriented startups have no respect and accountability for guarding user data. Since a few months, we have been witnessing so many e-commerce companies indulging in data leaks by compromising their user data and now, Paytm also seems to be in the queue.

The Cobrapost sting seems to be an alarm or warning to all such firms. Sice the country’s population has become way much Google, Facebook, Whatsapp and Paytm oriented, awareness and strong law to protect the user data from the tech beasts are the need of the hour.