DailyPost 784


The user and data would remain to be blindfolded is the story that is unfolding. Privacy and data protection seems to occupy the ivory tower, the real mafia type data operations is the order of the day. Close on the heels of complete data promiscuity of Facebook & lots of other unacceptable business practices as reported in the New York Times now famous article, we have another breathtaking news the Microsoft has been sharing Indian bank customers’ data with US Intelligence Agencies.

For all the GDPR and likely Data Protection Act in this country, these companies have nothing to do with right to privacy and due process of law. Informed consent is not in their dictionary. RBI investigation has revealed that Microsoft has been passing user data from Indian banks that are Office 365 customers to US Intelligence Agencies upon demand. This was compiled as a Risk Assessment Report and has been submitted to the concerned banks for responses.

The responses / revelations are chilling. One bank stated that gathering of such data was previously agreed upon. It is stated in the legal agreement to get Office 365 subscription. The banks are aware of it. The most interesting part it is that it is reflected in the company’s Transparency Hub. It states that ”Microsoft is bound to share customers’ data under US Foreign Intelligence Act (FISA) and US national security letters as and when required by US authorities.

The way US law and digital muscle power is being implemented globally is one of its kind success story. The tragic part is our laws don’t seem to have even local jurisdiction. The information for our banking related criminal cases gets embroiled in law globally and here our information is there up for use even without our consent, approval or intimation. This is the fate of the legal authorities and custodians of data, the user the less discussed the better. Between 2014 and 2016 US Govt. made over 4,000 requests to Microsoft, of 3036 was complied.


Sanjay Sahay

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