Experts say that there are no parameters set for how the policy will be implemented.

Draft e-commerce policy Good start but no clarity on implementation
Atom E-commerce Tuesday, February 26, 2019 - 10:45
Written by  S. Mahadevan

The draft ecommerce policy released by the Government of India has receives a lot of criticism from many quarters. The major flaw being pointed out is that the policy lacks clarity on the way it will be implemented on the ground or online, as per a report in Economic Times.

Of particular significance is the way the data is handled by the entities that collect data in the country. This could be personal data or other; the word used by the draft policy is ‘sensitive’ and that it will be termed a ‘National Asset’.

“The data of a country, therefore, is best thought of a collective resource, a national asset, that the government holds in trust, but rights to which can be permitted. The analogy of a mine of natural resource or spectrum works here,” the draft policy states.

Experts say that these need to be properly explained and all the stakeholders should be taken on board and made to understand what constitutes ‘sensitive’ data to begin with.

The second aspect is the government says the ecommerce players cannot be shared with outside entities, that includes foreign governments.

But the question the critics are posing is that while all these are laudable, how on earth is the government going to implement this. Conversely, if indeed a data leak occurs is there a mechanism in place to identify how and when it occurred and to immediately take action? That appears to be the major issue with this policy.

The experts feel that the path-breaking technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain; all these need to be given their due place in any new policy being enacted and the way to regulate these technologies to ensure these are deployed to the benefit of the customers but at the same time no advantage is taken of them.

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