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Friday, 02 November 2018 10:56

Microsoft sharing Indian bank customer data with US intel: claim

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Microsoft sharing Indian bank customer data with US intel: claim Pixabay

Microsoft has been regularly sharing the financial details of Indian bank customers with American intelligence agencies, a report by the website DNA Money claims.

The site said the information was contained in a bank document related to risk observations by the Reserve Bank of India, India's central bank.

According to this document, the data of customers who had accounts with banks that had migrated to Microsoft's Office 365 cloud-based email service was being shared with US intelligence agencies.

It said while customers were unaware of this, the banks in question were fully cognisant of what was going on.

The report quoted the report as saying about one specific case: "All the mailboxes had been migrated to office 365 Microsoft cloud environment.

"It was gathered from the Microsoft transparency hub that Microsoft is bound to share customers’ data under US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and US national security letters as and when required by the US authorities.”

The RBI document said Microsoft had shared customer data on 3036 occasions following more than 4000 government requests or legal demands.

One bank told the website that it agreed about the data sharing with Microsoft on the proviso that customer data would be shared only if an Indian Government order or a court order was issued.

When Microsoft was asked about this, the company avoided specific questions, but instead gave a response that dealt with its position on privacy.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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