Economy News

Budget 2023 | Government to publish national data governance policy to enable access to ‘anonymised data’: finance minister – Mintpaisa

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents the Union Budget 2023-24 at the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on February 1, 2023.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents the Union Budget 2023-24 at the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on February 1, 2023. | Photo credit: PTI

“To unleash innovation and research by start-ups and universities, a national data governance policy will be put in place,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said during the presentation of the 2023 Union Budget. -2024 on February 1st.

“This will allow access to anonymized data,” she added.

Read also |Budget 2023 | PAN will be used as a common identifier for all digital systems of government agencies: FM Sitharaman

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has released a draft of this policy in May 2022 for public consultation. The nine-page document aimed to set up the Indian Data Management Office (IDMO) under the Digital India Corporation and set out some guidelines for the sharing of non-personal data by private entities. The concept of sharing non-personal data is distinct from the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2022 which has been drafted with online privacy in mind.

In a more detailed draft framework from December 2020, an expert panel report submitted to MeitY that a company can be classified as a “data company”, based on certain parameters like type and size. volume of data it collects, after which the anonymized data of these companies can be obtained by a community, defined as “any group of people linked by common interests and objectives”. An example of sharing non-personal data is general traffic data in a city from ridesharing apps.

That year, the US-India Business Council (USIBC) reportedly voiced concerns from tech giants like Amazon and Google, which opposed data sharing on the scale envisioned by MeitY’s expert panel.

In a 2021 report funded by Google, the Aapti Institute, a technology policy think tank, said the mandatory data sharing outlined in the 2020 report was “premature” in India’s “nascent” data economy. . “The state must serve to bring stakeholders together, taking a consultative and iterative approach to data governance to unlock the immense and latent potential of non-personal data,” the report says.

The May 2022 draft does not provide for mandatory data sharing, but instead provides high-level principles on the basis of which the non-personal data sharing regime would later be put in place.

“It’s time to move on”

At a press conference on Wednesday, Union Minister for Railways, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw said the government wanted to wait for the establishment of privacy law before implementing the Non-Personal Data Policy. “That’s why, now that the digital personal data protection bill is already here, it has received very good feedback. The industry and all stakeholders have accepted that,” Mr. Vaishnaw said. “So with these two complementary builds in place, it’s time to move forward.”

Mr Vaishnaw also said the policy would only cover datasets the government has, a likely relief for big tech companies who have expressed concern over mandatory data sharing with potential competitors. “I would like to say very categorically that the policy of the national data governance framework is about non-personal data available to the government, and that is non-personal data which is, for example, weather data. [and] climate data,” Vaishnaw said.


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