India needs to adopt middle path on data protection: NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar Wednesday made a case for adopting a middle path with regard to data protection, stating “data nationalism” may be the anti-thesis of global growth. He stated access to data is crucial for achieving faster growth which is now being driven by the digital economy.

Talking at the ‘Raisina Dialogue 2019’ here, Kumar said, “I think there is a midway, that will make for digital cooperation as opposed to data protection.”

He stated India would be the creator of the largest amount of data going forward. “We have something like data nationalism and data nationalism may be the anti-thesis of global growth of the safegaurddigital economy,” he said.

India is in the process of coming out with a law safeguard. The draft personal data protection bill was prepared by a high-level panel led by Justice B N Srikrishna. The draft bill moots seeking “explicit consent” for processing ‘sensitive personal information’ like religious or political beliefs, sexual orientation, and biometric details.

It advice steps for safeguarding personal information, defining obligations of data processors as also rights of individuals, and proposed penalties for violation. The draft of Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 also restricts and imposes conditions on the cross-border transfer of personal data, and suggests setting up of Data Protection Authority of India to prevent any misuse of personal information.

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