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'Cross-border data movement under new law may be allowed on basis of reciprocity'

Published : Jun 14, 2019, 7:04 pm IST
Updated : Jun 14, 2019, 7:04 pm IST

India will uphold its data sovereignty. That will not be negotiable, said IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Ravi Shankar Prasad reiterated his aim to grow India's digital economy to USD 1 trillion in next 4-5 years.  (Photo: File | ANI)
 Ravi Shankar Prasad reiterated his aim to grow India's digital economy to USD 1 trillion in next 4-5 years. (Photo: File | ANI)

New Delhi: The government is ready with draft personal data protection law, and it may allow data mobility overseas based upon reciprocity, IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Friday.

He also said that people are not pleased with European data protection law, and are looking the way it will shape up in India.

"India will uphold its data sovereignty. That will not be negotiable. India is a huge country, generating a lot of data. I do acknowledge that some degree of data movement is important in a digital world but that will be based upon reciprocity and understanding," Prasad said at a Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) event.

The draft of Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 - which is based on the recommendations of the government-constituted high-level panel headed by Justice B N Srikrishna - 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.

"Data is going to become an important area of growth, commerce and vulnerable area of dispute. Data protection law we have finalised. I will take it to the cabinet. I feel data anonymity should also be kept in focus. Anybody, Indian or international, seeking to indulge in data commerce will have to follow the rules of the game," Prasad said.

In response to a question from former Infosys executive vice-chairman Kris Gopalakrishnan, Prasad said the world is now looking at proposed data protection regulation in India.

"I went to Stanford to give a lecture and all of them are waiting for India''s data protection law. All of them, because they are not happy with European product at all. Therefore, (the) world is looking at India. What is important, is India''s moment must be seized properly," the minister said.

The government started process on framing personal data protection law after the Supreme Court held that privacy is a fundamental right and asked the government to work around it.

The minister reiterated his aim to grow India's digital economy to USD 1 trillion in next 4-5 years.

Kotak Mahindra Bank MD and CEO Uday Kotak asked the minister about preparation of India to deal with trade war-like scenario between the US and China.

"India is too big a country to be swayed by these momentary impulses of competition. My take is very simple. Regardless of all the limitation, let us learn to trust ourselves. And whenever and wherever we have trusted ourselves - you all have given results," Prasad replied.

He said that the matter is very sensitive for him to make any off the line comment.

"What I feel is we must observe it closely, properly. Something good will come for India because globally people trust India''s human resource, India’s open society, India as a country (has) great substance and sanctity," Prasad said.

The US has barred its software and hardware companies from supplying products and services to Chinese telecom major Huawei alleging security threat from the company.

While many experts see it a trade war in the name of security. Huawei has alleged that the US has been lobbying against the company across the world to stop it from rolling out 5G technology products.

In India, too, Huawei and Vodafone Idea have signed a pact to jointly conduct 5G trials.

"I have ordered to start 5G trials in coming 100 days," Prasad said.

Tags: ravi shankar prasad, personal data protection bill, data protection law, confederation of indian industries, cii
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi