Microsoft consistently shared the financial data of Indian bank customers with the intelligence agencies in the United States, revealed an exclusive report by DNA Money.
According to the report, the Reserve Bank of India has expressed its concerns over the matter in a risk assessment report tabled before the banks’ audit committees.
The data which was shared with the US agencies are of the customer’s running an account with banks that have migrated to Microsoft Office 365 cloud-based email service.
“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,” RBI official as quoted by DNA money.
However, the twist is that the Indian banks know about this data sharing, only the customers were unaware of any kind of information sharing.
The RBI observation says that from 2014 to 2016, Microsoft had shared information at least 3,036 occasions after nearly 4,000 government requests or legal demand requests for Indian customers in the US.
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 considered legally appropriate and consistent with the rule of law and our Microsoft principles.”