India needs a new data regulator to oversee the sharing, monetization and privacy of information collected online, an expert committee appointed by the government has recommended.
In a 72-page report seen by Bloomberg News, the eight-person panel said that “market forces on their own will not bring about the maximum social and economic benefits from data for the society” and identified key issues that a new regulator would have to tackle. I
It would have to ensure that all stakeholders follow rules, provide data when legitimate requests are made, evaluate risks of re-identification of anonymized personal data and also help level the playing field for businesses, the report advised.
The document named U.S. giants Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Uber Technologies Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google as the beneficiaries of first-mover advantages and network effects that have “left many new entrants and start-ups being squeezed and faced with significant entry barriers.” The regulator’s envisioned role in facilitating data sharing would be to lessen these effects and also spur innovation, economic growth and social wellbeing.
As countries around the world from the U.K. to China tighten data protection within their borders, India is moving to draft and reinforce policies governing its burgeoning digital economy. It already has a bill for governing the use of personal data, and this latest report recommends adding the non-personal data regulator via legislation as well.