E-wallets raise privacy and hacking fears | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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E-wallets raise privacy and hacking fears

Cashless transactions may be a hassle-free way to shop, but it could be used to grossly invade the user’s privacy

mumbai Updated: Dec 22, 2016 09:56 IST
Farhan Shaikh
Cyber experts pointed another risk: SIM cards cloned to hack into e-wallets bound to mobile numbers
Cyber experts pointed another risk: SIM cards cloned to hack into e-wallets bound to mobile numbers

“Hi! I just met you and your DP is nice.”

This was the message a 16-year-old girl in Andheri got from a shopkeeper after she used an e-wallet app to scan a QR code and pay for bread and eggs.

She ignored the Whatsapp message, but the next morning, woke up to a ‘Good morning’ text with a bouquet of flowers.

The girl told her parents, the shopkeeper’s father was told, and finally, the youth stopped messaging her.

Cashless transactions may be a hassle-free way to shop, but it could be used to grossly invade the user’s privacy. Several incidents of shopkeepers getting women customer’s numbers and getting in touch with them have been reported. Cyber law and cyber security expert, advocate Prashant Mali, agreed such incidents are blatant invasions of privacy. “The state must fund a cyber-literacy programme. The more society is aware, fewer crimes will take place.” Ideally, e-wallet apps should ensure the receiver does not get the full contact number of the user.

Cyber experts pointed another risk: SIM cards cloned to hack into e-wallets bound to mobile numbers. “If the person cloning a number gets his hands on the original account details, this will be a huge risk,” Mali said, highlighting the need for stricter security measures. Nitin Bhatnagar, an information security expert, said, “Firms should follow regulations like Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) and Payment Card Industry (PCI) or pay a heavy penalty.”

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