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Need to develop regulatory framework to use consumer data: Nasscom


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The government needs to develop a strong regulatory framework around use of consumer data and the economic value attached to such information, amid rising concerns over security of personal data on social media and other platforms, Nasscom today said.
Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar told PTI that governments and citizens are seeking establishment of "boundaries" as currently, there are no clear rules and companies often operate with "unfettered freedom".
"The backlash has already begun... Some kind of regulatory oversight and control over both the usage of data as well as the treatment of the economic value generated from (such) data, is needed," he said.
The comments come at a time when there is a global outrage over breach of user data on social networking platform, Facebook. Data mining firm, Cambridge Analytica has been accused of harvesting personal information of over 50 million Facebook users illegally to influence polls in several countries.
Facebook's data breach scandal also sparked a furore in India with IT Minster Ravi Shankar Prasad warning the firm of "stringent" action for any attempt to influence polls through data theft, and threatening to summon CEO Mark Zuckerberg, if needed.
The government has also issued notice to Cambridge Analytica, seeking its immediate response on whether it was involved in misuse of data to profile Indians and influence their voting behaviour. Facebook has already issued an apology with Zuckerberg assuring stringent steps to secure user data.
Chandrashekhar emphasised that it would be important for nations to work on international agreements, similar to the likes of WTO agreements or bilateral and multilateral trade pacts between countries.
"It is no longer possible to do this independently of others. The Internet has unified the digital economic space globally, whereas the laws and regulations that are present and govern, are all national. There is no binding international law (related to data)," he said.
Chandrashekhar, however, cautioned that this could also bring in additional complications pertaining to regulatory oversight, information exchange and enforcement mechanisms.
He explained that while trade and investment flows are traceable through physical boundaries of countries, doing so in the digital world may be difficult.
"...there will be additional complications about how they are overseen and how access to the information itself will be available to the authorities... this will require greater enforcement and tools and capabilities," he said.

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First Published: Mar 28 2018 | 5:55 PM IST

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