Nandan Nilekani urges govt to evolve data protection law
New Delhi: Former Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman and Infosys Ltd co-founder Nandan Nilekani on Saturday urged the government to evolve a data protection law that will force state agencies and corporations to let individuals access their data that these entities gather.
In a presentation on Data is the new oil made at the Delhi Economics Conclave 2017 organized in the city by the finance ministry, Nilekani said that data is of immense strategic and commercial importance and it help companies to enter new businesses and markets, grow big and at times stifle competition by preventing new entrants in the market.
The tendency to abuse market dominance achieved through use of data can be effectively addressed by a law, he said. “We need to have a law that whoever collects data, be it an Indian company, be it a global company, be it the government, all of them will share data to the consumer or business at his request,” said Nilekani.
More and more data is stored offshore, where the entity holding data is not accountable to the domestic laws of the consumers, leading to data colonization, he added.
Nilekani said other nations such as the UK, Japan and China have taken steps in this direction.
He also said that decisions of the economy should be guided by real time data which is possible with goods and services tax (GST) implementation.
Nilekani further said that with the economy becoming more reliant on digital modes of payment and the tax administration becoming technology driven, it will soon become possible to have a real-time assessment of the economy through data analysis.
At present, seven or eight companies are becoming big aggregates of data worldwide. The more the data, the better the quality of product and service and bigger the company. It is becoming a competition issue, he added.
Nilekani’s proposal comes at a time India is making an unprecedented drive to promote digital transactions and is running the world’s largest direct benefits transfer programme, the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme.
Digital transactions worth Rs113.73 trillion has been recorded for the month of June, according to the provisional data released by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) earlier this month.
Card payments on point-of-sale (POS) terminals have hit a record monthly amount of Rs70,000 crore, a level that would have taken three years to reach had demonetization not taken place, State Bank of India (SBI) said in a research report on Thursday.