Data protection legislation to boost innovation and ensure privacy: Piyush Goyal
19 June 2019
The government is determined to build a robust data protection framework that will achieve the dual purpose of privacy and innovation and strengthen India’s position as a global tech leader with focus on trust and innovation, union minister of commerce and industry and railways told industry representatives at a meeting with e-commerce and tech companies.
All the companies who were represented in the meeting put forth their concerns related to RBI data storage requirements and processing related guidelines issued by the RBI. Deputy governor of RBI, BP Kanungo, assured industry representatives that the Reserve Bank of India will look into this.
The e-commerce industry representatives also put forth their concerns before the commerce minister about the e-commerce draft policy, which, they felt, was not adequately consultative. Commerce minister assured the e-commerce industry representatives that each and every concern of the industry will be addressed and for that the minister has requested e-commerce representatives to send their concerns in writing to the DPIIT within 10 days.
Industry representatives also informed the minister that the consultations for the Data Protection Bill by MeitY was satisfactory but as a lot of time had elapsed and the industry was not sure about the final shape of the bill. MeitY secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney assured the e-commerce companies that the bill will reflect all the consultations that had taken place with the industry during the formulation of the bill.
The meeting discussed principles of data protection and privacy at length and industry representatives requested the minister to ensure that the bill will have more clarity around classification of data and the manner of cross border flow of data. Commerce minister assured that MeitY will address this concern too.
E-commerce and tech companies also informed Piyush Goyal that the data free flow discussed in the recent G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy was a positive development for India in principle and India must participate in the discussions on digital trade but issues of concern for the country must be taken up as and when they arise during the G20 discussions.
Goyal assured e-commerce and technology companies in the country that the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will work in synergy towards realising the full use of digital technology together with trade and investment and also be mindful of national needs, priorities and sensitivities.
The commerce minister said that MeitY and National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) may deal with the concerns of companies who that products in India and store their data in the country and the bill must reflect this.
Nasscom President, Debjani Ghosh, put forth before the commerce minister the necessity of harmony across all policies of all ministries and RBI, which deal with digital trade. She also said that the meeting is happening at an opportune time when India is emerging as a data powerhouse and innovative digital technology is bringing immense economic opportunities and disruptions and allowing developing and least developed countries (LDCs) to leapfrog.