MeitY panel recommends that India needs a data regulator for companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Uber
An 8-member expert panel was created by the Ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) that has recommended a new data regulator for the non-personal data.
A Bloomberg-procured 72-page draft report summaries that the data regulator will supervise the procedure of how the companies will collect, process, store, monetise, and even terminate the anonymised data. The regulator will oversee the data management of the companies. The intention behind this is to provide certainty for existing businesses and incentives for the establishment of new ones, to tap the “considerable” social and public value from data.
What is non-personal data?
It is information that does not include any particulars such as name, age, or address which could be used to identify an individual. This also includes the data that was originally personal but later accumulated and made anonymous.
The MeitY panel also noted that since the tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Uber have significantly benefitted because of the combination of first-mover advantage, sizable network effect, and enormous data which essentially results in their dominance, has consequentially left many new entrants and start-ups cramped and facing substantial entry barriers.
The committee also suggested that a new classification of “data business” should be created for those companies or firms that manage data which may comprise of health, e-commerce, internet, and technology services companies. Before drafting the report, many of such firms were consulted by the committee.
The draft report expressed, “Market transactions and market forces on their own will not bring about the maximum social and economic benefits from data for society. Appropriate institutional and regulatory structures are essential for a thriving data economy and a well-functioning data society”.
The proposed regulator will be given an integration with the pipelines of raw data of the tech companies which will assist in transforming the data from one source to the other. Using its legal power, the panel will then be able to make data sharing request.
“Every data business must declare what they do and what data they collect, process and use, in which manner, and for what purposes. This is similar to disclosures required by the pharma industry and in food products,” the draft report states.
The MeitY panel’s draft report will be made available to the dominant companies for consultation after which it will be submitted to India’s IT ministry next week.