Google reveals why Tez app doesn’t support ‘pay by Aadhaar’ feature

Tez app, Google’s latest offering for India, does not feature Aadhaar-based payment.

| Updated on: Sep 18 2017, 17:35 IST
Is Google Tez a privacy nightmare?
Is Google Tez a privacy nightmare? (AFP)
Is Google Tez a privacy nightmare?
Is Google Tez a privacy nightmare? (AFP)

Google on Monday launched its mobile payment service 'Tez' in India. The application allows users to digitally make and receive payments through the Unified Payment Interface (UPI). Google Tez, however, had earlier come under scanner over its privacy policy, which says users may have to share information including bank account number and Aadhaar number with the company.

Caesar Sengupta, a senior executive at Google responded to the controversy stating that the Google Tez app does not support Aadhaar because of the lack of clarity in the government regulations and policies.

"To be very clear, there's a feature 'pay by Aadhaar' in UPI. It is an optional feature that was listed by UPI. It was not a mandatory feature; otherwise we would have had to include Aadhaar support. There's a lack of legal and regulatory clarity on how to use Aadhaar data and what to do with that. So, we chose not to implement that feature. There is no pay by Aadhaar feature in our product. We are working with the regulatory authorities, NPCI and legal team to understand the parameter of this," he said while addressing a Q&A session following the Google Tez launch on Monday.

Referring to the terms and conditions on Aadhaar, Caesar said, "We added this section because there was a possibility that this feature come in the future, and we felt users needed to be aware of it. So, whenever this feature comes or any new feature comes, we will notify you [users]."

On questions around Google Tez possibly accessing users' data, he responded, "Privacy is very important to us. Having data is not unique. Right question to ask is what do we do with the data, how companies are using that data? We use the data to make product better for you [users]. And we do this with your consent. We always give users control over their data. So, users can wipe their data at any point they desire."

Earlier, Google had drawn flak from users for its controversial privacy policy that states: "You hereby expressly consent to and permit Google, Group Companies and the Payment Participants' to collect, store and share such information including but not limited to the your personal information such as your name, address, Google Account or Payment instrument details, all transactions carried out through Tez or information with respect to third parties and the Recipients including bank account or Aadhaar details for the purposes mentioned in the Combined Tez Terms."

"You represent that you have obtained all requisite prior consents and waivers necessary from any third party or Recipients and have provided such third party or Recipient with notice to permit Google, Group Companies and Payment Participants to carry out actions described in this paragraph. You further warrant that you will provide such notices and secure such necessary consents and waivers in advance of providing similar information to Google in the future."

"In the event that you are a Recipient, you hereby consent Google to permit the Sender to store your information including bank account number and Aadhaar number on Tez for the purpose of sending you payments. Tez does not support the Pay to Aadhaar feature, though it may do so in the future with notice to you and in accordance with applicable laws," the policy further read.

Users were quick to express their displeasure on Twitter.

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First Published Date: 18 Sep, 17:26 IST