The process of consultations with the industry on serious policy matters will continue with the officials of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) setting up a meeting with the stakeholders on data storage.
The government and the RBI have been insisting that foreign entities which collect personal data from Indian citizens must create the data storage facility within the country and not allow it to be stored in servers abroad. This relates to the various channels involved in collecting data, right from social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and others to the digital payments operators like Google Pay and Amazon Pay. The companies have been resisting this claiming that they have common servers which host data from all over the world since they operate in multiple countries.
The meeting called by the DPIIT for tomorrow, Tuesday, January 14, will have a strong presence of IT companies, Accenture, Adobe, Facebok, Genpact, Google, HCL, Infosys, Intel, Microsoft and TCS. Trade associations like Nasscom, E-commerce Council of India, Informational Technology Industry Council, CII and FICCI will also be sending their representatives to this meeting to put forth their members’ points of view.
At the centre of the discussions at this meeting will be the government’s draft e-commerce policy and the government trying to elicit the views of the stakeholders. The government is reportedly keen to have the proper policy approved and operational before the current financial year is out.
It has been reported that this DPIIT-Industry meeting will be chaired by an additional secretary level officer in the department.
Along with the issues coming to the fore in these deliberations, the already passed Personal Data Protection Bill will also figure.
The key question before the government is if it should allow free flow of data out of the country or put restrictions on it.
The government is keen to put in place something like the GDPR in Europe, which is considered to be quite a tough piece of regulation with the penalties for breach of personal data extremely steep. The Personal Data Protection Bill too has provisions for penalties for violating the norms under the Act.