Expressing concern over the safety and security of digital transactions in the wake of the Centre’s major push towards ‘cashless technology’ post demonetisation, Congress on Thursday asked the government to spell out the steps taken by it to safeguard them. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi demanded that the government issue a ‘White Paper’ on the steps taken by it to provide safety of digital data in the country. “The Modi government must forthwith issue a detailed explanation, allaying the fears of a comprehensive digital breach in absence of appropriate safeguards. It must also answer whether it has adequately addressed the issues of safety and security of digital transactions by ensuring adequate hardware and software security apparatus,” he said.
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“Is it true that under the current legal architecture, no compensation is payable to the customer of an e-wallet company for loss caused by an online fraud or theft?” he asked. The Congress leader expressed concern over recent incidents of debit card frauds and hacking, and questioned the Centre over its preparedness to deal with such possibilities. “Safety of ‘digital data’ and ‘digital financial platforms’ is under a grave threat. Brazen and repeated hacking attempts have exposed complete vulnerability of cyber security,” he said.
Singhvi alleged as Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to push India into a ‘cashless economy’ overnight, two critical concerns–security and privacy of digital transactions–were left unaddressed. “Are the users of e-wallets safe? If an e-wallet is hacked, it leaves consumers vulnerable to fraud. Is the government undertaking a security audit of all the digital platforms and e-wallets?” he asked.
The Congress leader alleged that as per reports on October 20, data of 65 lakh debit cards was breached in the “biggest-ever financial theft in Indian history.” “Despite such a massive attack, the Modi government and its IT minister have not come out with any report. They have brushed aside the entire episode. Till date, no details are available about the action taken in this regard,” he said.
Singhvi also sought to know whether National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) servers and data was stolen and compromised by a cyber attack. “If all these reports are true, then it puts a question mark on the digital financial architecture of the entire country,” he said.