Post GDPR, Indian Startups Block EU Users From Online Transactions


Indian startups have been trying to block European users from buying products or services from their platform to avoid complications after the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came up in Europe. 

GDPR, that kicked in on 25 May, requires companies doing business in Europe to give greater control to EU citizens with regard to their own data.

Data Intelligence startup has made changes in its policies to comply with the same.

“We’ve recently updated our terms of use to disallow services to EU subjects. While we maintain our own high standards for personal information, making laws extraterritorial is a messy business. India is a sovereign nation and we will comply its laws,”

said Vivek Durai, Co-Founder, 

ALSO READ: Cybersecurity risks to get worse: Warren Buffett

However, experts feel that not many startups in India can be called GDPR-compliant for now.

“Very few startups in India are likely to be GDPR-compliant as the significant investment in terms of people, resources and technology may not have taken place,”

said Arpinder Singh, Partner and Head- India and Emerging Markets, Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services at EY.

Singh opines that building a mechanism around data preservation policies as mandated under the regulation would take time but he feels that it’s important for the startup ecosystem to take quick action as substantial fines can be imposed in case of non-compliance

Not all Indian startups are expected to see massive impact of the European Union’s data protection regulation – companies across sectors such as Software as Services (SAAS) and travel are likely to get impacted given the global reach of their businesses. 

The GDPR has come about at a time when the concern over data breach has reached its peak after the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica incident. 

The data breach also affected 5.62 lakh, Indian users. After the scandal broke out, the Indian government had demanded a response from Cambridge Analytica on whether it was engaged to improperly harvest Facebook data on Indian citizens.

Tech companies worldwide are increasingly facing greater scrutiny related to data misuse. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been facing questions from the US Senate and the European Parliament where he has been repeatedly portraying Facebook as a benevolent business with more interest in user well-being than profits.

A recent exposé by investigative journalism portal Cobrapost that has shown Paytm’s senior vice-president Ajay Shekhar Sharma saying on camera that he was asked for the user data of stone-pelters in Jammu and Kashmir to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

All of this together has indeed put us in a precarious position regarding data privacy and related issues. 

ALSO READ: Facebook Argues Against A Company Breakup; Says It Helps In Keeping Users Safe