IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tells Amazon to keep Indians’ data within the country


Global entities collecting data of Indian customers will now have to ensure it is adequately protected.

In a move in that direction, IT and Communication Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad recently asked Amazon to ensure the protection of Indian consumers’ data by setting up servers in the country.

While the US-based ecommerce major operates in India as Amazon India, the data of Indian consumers is stored overseas in a cloud in either Singapore or the US. Sources, however, say Amazon has already initiated the process to set up data centres within the country and had launched the first one in Mumbai way back in 2016.

The minister was quoted as saying that “localisation of servers for data analytics is very important and migration or crunching of data should not happen without consent.”

Misuse of data and its protection has increasingly become important and a few weeks ago, the B N Srikrishna Committee submitted its report on protecting Indian customers’ data. While it borrowed from the General Data Protection Rules that came into effect in Europe in May, it recommended that all data pertaining to Indian citizens must reside and be processed on Indian soil.

“India presently does not have any express legislation governing data protection or privacy,” says Hrishikesh Datar, founder of Vakil Search. Relevant laws in India dealing with data protection are the Information Technology Act, 2000, and the (Indian) Contract Act, 1872.

The (Indian) Information Technology Act, 2000, deals with issues relating to payment of compensation (civil), and punishment (criminal), in case of wrongful disclosure and misuse of personal data and violation of contractual terms in respect of personal data.

A codified law on the subject of data protection is likely to be introduced in India in the near future, whose foundation will be the Srikrishna Committee report.

"Indian startups and enterprises have been using AWS for many years – with most Indian technology startups building their entire businesses on AWS, and numerous enterprises running mission-critical, core applications on AWS," Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS, had said when Amazon announced the launch of its new data centres, in India, in 2016.


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