DPIIT to discuss issues related to data storage in draft ecommerce policy on Jan 14

This meeting, chaired by DPIIT, is significant as the department is working to release the national ecommerce policy by the end of the current fiscal year.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has convened a meeting of industry representatives from IT and ecommerce sectors on January 14 to discuss the merits and demerits of the draft ecommerce policy on data storage, sources said.

Representatives from different companies including Accenture, Adobe, Facebook, Genpact, Google, HCL, Infosys, Intel, Microsoft, and TCS are expected to participate in the deliberations, they said.

Besides, officials from Nasscom, Ecommerce Council of India, Informational Technology Industry Council, CII, and FICCI would also attend the meeting, they added.

The meeting will be chaired by an additional secretary level officer of the DPIIT. It assumes significance as the department is working to release the national ecommerce policy by the end of the current financial year.

Last February, the government released a draft national ecommerce policy, proposing setting up a legal and technological framework for restrictions on cross-border data flow and also laid out conditions for businesses regarding collection or processing of sensitive data locally and storing it abroad.

Several foreign ecommerce firms have raised concerns over some points in the draft pertaining to data. The department has received huge response on the draft and it is examining all the views and comments.

As the draft policy includes several provisions related to data, the department is also looking at the Personal Data Protection Bill approved by the Cabinet last month.

Further, sources said that issues which need to be looked upon include whether India should allow free flow of data across the border or inhibit or regulate it in some manner; and whether data localisation is required or not.

"These are the issues which have lots of pros and cons," they added.

The Personal Data Protection Bill spells out a framework for handling of personal data including its processing by public and private entities.

A company may have to pay a penalty if found violating norms under the Personal Data Protection Bill.

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)


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