Data privacy should not be compromised in using fintech: Nirmala Sitharaman


Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the value of digital transactions in India jumped to ₹6 lakh crore in January-August 2021 from ₹4 lakh crore in 2020

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said there should be no compromise on data privacy and safeguard of client data with an increasing number of Indians now using digital mode of payment.

Addressing the fintech industry, the Minister said the value of digital transactions jumped to ₹6 lakh crore in January-August 2021 from ₹4 lakh crore and ₹2 lakh crore in 2020 and 2019, respectively.

“Data privacy is one of the things which is very important and it is an issue on which there can be a lot of contentious views. However, basic respect for privacy…as the guiding principle is well appreciated.

“Safeguard of client data, is something which I think is the backbone to bringing trust. Unless my data is safeguarded well I wouldn’t want to get into a scheme of things. So that is the guiding principle,” Ms. Sitharaman said at the ‘Global FinTech Fest 2021’.

During the event, a report on ‘U.N. principles for responsible digital payments’ was launched which outlines guiding principles for the government, users and for industry and businesses. The report also emphasises on including women and their participation in fintech.

“I am very impressed that today the U.N. principles for responsible digital payments are being launched. It is just the need of hour. We need … all of us to understand that in our desire to bring in an interoperable system, a system which has to be pushed ahead because of the transparency virtues that it carries, we shouldn’t be in a hurry to compromise on any one of these features,” Ms. Sitharaman said.

The Minister said the fintech adoption rate is 87% in India, as against the global average of 64%.

“I think India is the prime destination for digital activities, digital payments,” she added.

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