ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Privacy Judgment and Financial Inclusion in India

Technology promises to overcome traditional barriers to financial inclusion, in particular by harnessing insights from consumers’ personal data. However, use of personal data creates new risks for consumers. Service providers must build consumers’ trust, a necessary precondition to increased participation in formal finance. K Puttaswamy v Union of India frames the use of personal data within the rubric of informational privacy, and in doing so provides guidance about how data practices and regulation in finance can evolve to align with citizens’ rights and reasonable expectations of informational privacy.

The author thanks Beni Chugh for valuable comments.

In recent years, efforts to expand access to formal finance are looking to technology and digital financial services to overcome traditional barriers, in particular by harnessing insights from consumers’ personal information. However, it is also being recognised that merely growing digital technology does not deliver digital dividends to everyone unless its “analog complements” are in place: appropriate regulations, accountable institutions and users who are genuinely enabled to use these technologies (World Bank Group 2016). K Puttaswamy v Union of India (2017a) matters to those of us interested in ensuring complete, suitable access to financial services for every individual because it frames the use of personal information against the rubric of the right to informational privacy. In doing so, the Puttaswamy judgment provides early guidance on how to evolve data practices in finance to allow consumers’ to benefit from technology whilst avoiding the harms that arise from the use of personal data.

Financial Inclusion Conundrum

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Updated On : 27th Dec, 2017
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