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Access to personal data by Mutual Funds

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Over the years, the Systematic Investment Plans (“SIPs”) in Mutual Funds have become immensely popular. In fact, as per a report by BQ Prime, contribution of SIPs to Mutual Funds crossed Rs. 16,000 crore for the first time in September, 2023. Recently, certain retail investors of a Mutual Fund complained that the mobile application deployed by the Mutual Fund was forcing the users to grant access to their phone contacts, location and other details in order to access the mutual fund platform.

In this background, Mr. Sumit Agrawal, Managing Partner of Regstreet Law Advisors and former SEBI Officer has offered his insights for an article published by LiveMint. He is of the view that “Any practice aimed at acquiring personal data is subject to scrutiny concerning its compliance with current regulations and its potential implications for the privacy of mutual fund investors. The key factors to consider in assessing the legality of such practices include obtaining informed and specific consent, ensuring the security and protection of collected data, providing alternative methods for accessing investments (such as through MF Central or MF utilities), maintaining transparency in communicating the reasons for data collection and the benefits it offers to investors, and compliance with SEBI’s mutual fund regulations and master circular.”

Readers are welcome to send their views to Regstreet Law Advisors at info@regstreetlaw.com

A copy of the LiveMint article is enclosed below and also accessible at: How Navi Mutual Fund forces its users to share their contact lists

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