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Traders’ body CAIT warns over Facebook-Jio deal, says FB ‘known violator’ of data privacy laws

The traders’ body said data should be used cautiously else it will be nothing less than backstabbing the Indian consumers

Traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders that represents 70 million taders and 40,000 trade associations of India said on Wednesday that the new venture announced between Reliance Jio and Facebook should not use consumer data already available with Facebook and WhatsApp.

Facebook and Jio are likely to transform JioMart and plans to bring millions of small traders online through the already available WhatsApp network.

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"In data sharing, Facebook has been known for violating laws globally. Therefore, the data already generated with Facebook or its allied organisation WhatsApp should not be used for this new venture else it will be backstabbing the people of the country," CAIT said in a statement.

CAIT has been protesting the increasing foreign direct investment in sectors such as retail and e-commerce.

The traders’ body had earlier complained against Facebook and Amazon over alleged anti-trade practices.

The Competition Commission of India is already probing both the e-commerce companies for antitrust practices.

Earlier in the day, Reliance Jio and Facebook announced the signing of binding agreements for an investment of Rs 43,574 crore by Facebook in Jio Platforms. Facebook’s investment will translate into a 9.99% equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis.

Concurrent with the investment, Jio Platforms, Reliance Retail Limited (“Reliance Retail”) and WhatsApp have also entered into a commercial partnership agreement to further accelerate Reliance Retail’s New Commerce business on the JioMart platform using WhatsApp and to support small businesses on WhatsApp.

Reliance Retail’s New Commerce platform, JioMart, is being built in partnership with millions of small merchants and kirana shops to empower them to better serve the needs of Indian consumers. The companies will work closely to ensure consumers are able to access the nearest kiranas that can provide products and services to their homes by transacting seamlessly with JioMart using WhatsApp.

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