WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India
Oct 30, 2018, 02.31 PM
Microsoft routinely shared financial details of the customers of Indian banks with the US government, the DNA newspaper has reported.
The report said the details shared were of customers of banks that have moved to Microsoft's Office 365 cloud-based email service. And that Microsoft was bound by US law — under the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and if a US national security letter is issued — to share the information as and when asked.
The DNA report added that the Reserve Bank of India has flagged the data sharing in its Risk Assessment Report (RAR), which has been placed before the banks’ audit committees for responses.
And that according to the responses the RBI has got, the banks are aware that their customers' financial details are being shared with US security and intelligence agencies.
The report added that the customers themselves may not be in the know.
Microsoft did not respond to the specific questions DNA sent it, but firmly defended its position on privacy.
A Microsoft spokesperson told DNA Money, “No government has direct access to any of our users’ data. Data privacy is a top priority for us. We never provide customer data unless we receive a legally valid warrant, order or subpoena about specific accounts or individual identifiers that we have reviewed and consider legally appropriate and consistent with the rule of law and our Microsoft principles. Absent extraordinary circumstances, in the vast majority of cases we redirect governments to seek data directly from commercial customers or to allow us to tell our commercial customers when the government seeks their data.”
The report said the details shared were of customers of banks that have moved to Microsoft's Office 365 cloud-based email service.