The taxpayers’ GST information does not pose any risk towards violation of people’s privacy as the data is not shared with anybody and even the Goods and Services Tax Network or its Board members cannot view it, GSTN said on Thursday.
GSTN is the information-technology backbone of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The statement comes against the backdrop of Supreme Court ruling on Thursday which declared the Right to Privacy as a fundamental right and must be protected as an intrinsic part of life and personal liberty and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.
“The Supreme Court order applies to everybody. Right to privacy applies to everybody. But the security of the GST data will not be compromised because we are not sharing it with anybody,” GSTN Chairman Navin Kumar told IANS.
Kumar said that the data of the taxpayers is encrypted, which remains on the servers and goes directly to the tax department.
On being asked if ownership of private stakeholders in GSTN might compromise data security, he said: “Why should it impose any risk? ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, HDFC are on the Board. They don’t have any access to the data. We also do not have access to the data. The data is on the servers, it comes from taxpayers and goes to the tax department.”
GSTN is a private organisation with the Centre and state governments owning 24.5 per cent stake each, while HDFC, NSE Strategic Investment Corporation, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank own 10 per cent each. LIC Finance holds 11 per cent stake in GSTN.