Technical data

Purpose of data access policy not commercialization: Chandrasekhar

Chenai: The government said on Wednesday that India’s draft data accessibility and use policy was not aimed at commercialization, seeking to assuage fears of privacy breaches and economic incentive.

Union State Minister for Electronics and Computers Rajeev Chandrasekhar was responding to a question posed to the Lok Sabha by Congressman Manish Tewari on the matter.

Chandrasekhar said the project is open for public consultation.

“This policy does not contemplate any sale of data or inducement to collect data. The focus of the draft policy is not commercialization,” he said in a written response.

Tewari, who was also a member of the Joint Committee of Parliament to study the Data Protection Bill, 2019, also inquired whether the government was aware that holding consultations and deliberations on the draft law was causing undue delay in its introduction despite the JCP. table its final report on the bill.

In response, Chandrasekhar said that “there was no deliberation or consultation on the JCP report.”

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The JCP tabled its report in Parliament in December. “The report includes 93 recommendations including a draft law which is under review,” he said.

ET has previously indicated that the government could draft an entirely new privacy bill by shelving the current version, which has been in the works for almost five years and does not comprehensively meet the requirements of the landscape. changing technology of the country.

The government has since made clear that it does not want to “rush” legislation that could harm India’s growing start-up ecosystem.

The government’s draft data accessibility and use policy had sparked concern among industry members and campaigners who feared it would lead to increased privacy risks in the absence of coverage personal data regulations in the country, ET reported last month.

The industry is also looking for clarity on terms such as high value data set, anonymized data as well as a phased implementation plan.

Calling the goals, data sharing and governance principles “valuable prima facie”, IT industry association Nasscom said they are “in general terms and are not articulated as quantifiable outcomes against against which future performance can be measured”.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) released a draft Indian Data Accessibility and Usage Policy 2022 for public consultation in February.

The government, which is looking to make better use of the big data it collects to deliver better public services, had invited comments on the policy until March 18.

The policy proposes that all central and state government bodies must share data with each other to create a common “searchable database”.

While lightly processed datasets should be made available for free, detailed datasets that have undergone added value, transformation and are eligible for monetization can be priced appropriately, he said.

Digital think tank Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) had said that with data protection law not yet implemented, selling data was a “dodgy” thing to do.

The SFLC said that since there were no security safeguards for anonymization and the task had been delegated to the respective ministries, it would leave states to decide the standards themselves.

The Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) said the main goals were underpinned by “perverse economic incentives”. He also said that the cosmetic changes made to the draft data access policy fail to address the fundamental issues.

In an interview with ET in March, Infosys co-founder and head of the Non-Personal Data (NPD) committee, S (Kris) Gopalakrishnan, said India must allow data commercialization and open data policy government that recommends data monetization, should be encouraged.

“As long as the privacy of citizens’ data is protected and citizens receive better services in the future, we must allow commercialization,” Gopalakrishnan said. “It’s a bit like traveling in a private car and public transport – we share our private space for better economy.

Gopalakrishnan said private and public interests must be balanced.

While there is a need to build economic activity around data, he said it was equally important to listen to concerns and address them or explain why certain decisions were made.

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