RBI to address India Inc's data woes
Deputy governor Kanungo assures industry while saying data generated in India has to be localised.
“All the companies who were represented in this meeting put forth their concerns related to RBI data storage requirements and processing-related guidelines issued by the RBI. Deputy governor of RBI BP Kanungo assured the industry representatives that the Reserve Bank of India will look into this," the commerce and industry ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
RBI had in April last year asked payment firms to ensure their data is stored exclusively on local servers, setting a six-month deadline for compliance. The bank had in April 2018 put out a circular stating that all “data relating to payment systems” is “stored in a system only in India” within six months.
Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga joined the meeting via video conference, the ministry said.
“The minister said India’s data must be used for the country’s development,” said an official who attended the meeting.
E-COMMERCE & DATA PROTECTION
Besides the RBI norms, concerns were also raised about the draft ecommerce policy that mandates local storage and processing of data generated by users in India from various sources including e-commerce platforms, social media and search engines.
The official added that Kanungo emphasised that data of Indians and foreigners residing and doing business in India has to be localised and even if any data has to be sent abroad for processing, it should be brought back and deleted.
“The e-commerce industry representatives also put forth their concerns before the minister about the e-commerce draft policy, which they felt was not adequately consultative," the ministry said, adding Goyal assured them that each and every concern of the industry will be addressed.
He asked e-commerce representatives to send their concerns in writing within 10 days.
On a draft data protection bill released in July 2018 that proposes a requirement for data localisation as a remedy to concerns about protection of personal data, industry representatives told the minister that though the consultations on it were satisfactory, a lot of time had elapsed and they were not sure about the final shape of the bill.
As per the statement, secretary ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) Ajay Prakash Sawhney assured the ecommerce companies that the bill will reflect all the consultations that had taken place with the industry during its formulation.
“Industry representatives requested Goyal to ensure that the bill will have more clarity around the classification of data and the manner of cross-border flow of data... minister assured that MeitY will address this concern too," it said.
E-commerce and tech firms informed him that the data free flow discussed in the recent G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy was a positive development for India in principle and the country must participate in the discussions on digital trade. Issues of concern for the country must be taken up as and when they arise during the G20 talks.
The commerce minister said MeitY and the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) may deal with the concerns of companies who build products in India and store their data in the country and the bill must reflect this.
E-commerce, tech firms and foreign MNCs participated in the meeting that was called to “understand their concerns and take their suggestions towards building a robust data protection framework that will achieve the dual purpose of privacy and innovation and strengthen India's position as a global tech leader with focus on trust and innovation," the ministry said in the statement.