U.S. tech giants are forming a representative group to jointly fight back against a proposal by the Indian government that seeks to regulate “non-personal” data in the country. This has come to light via a Reuters report.
India, thanks to its large population-both offline and online, enjoys special treatment from big tech conglomerates like Google, Facebook and Amazon, who keep ramping up their investments in the country. The capital invested by these companies have endowed them with a large footprint in the region, something the Indian government wants to curb.
Thus, an 8 person panel suggested last month that new rules should be devised that that can be enforced upon non personal data as well, that is, data that secures anonymity. It also comprises data that was initially personal but later aggregated and made anonymous.
The panel also suggested that new mechanisms be devised so that firms who have collected this data can share it with other entities, in a bid to boost the country’s digital ecosystem. Now, as one would have guessed, U.S. companies which have spent million of dollars collecting the same information that the Indian government plans to spread for free, are not very happy about this decision, and are banding together to oppose the proposal.
Reuters reports that the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, calls imposed data sharing “anathema” to promoting competition and says the new proposal undermines investments made by companies to process and collect such information, according to a draft letter for the Indian government.
“USIBC and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are categorically opposed to mandates that require the sharing of proprietary data,” the letter read.
The letter does not fail to add that the decision is in opposition to Prime Minister Modi’s call for U.S. companies to invest in India.
The head of the panel, and a founder of Indian technology giant Infosys Ltd- Kris Gopalakrishnan, said that the group will work with the government to review input from the industry.
The panel had also suggested the formation of a regulatory body that will oversee the sharing, monetization and privacy of information collected online “market forces on their own will not bring about the maximum social and economic benefits from data for the society.”