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Centre, states must talk to bridge data flow gaps: Amar Patnaik

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New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) There is an urgent need to bridge the information gap between the states and the Centre on personal data protection and a nodal agency is the need of the hour to regulate the flow of data and protect citizens’ privacy, Dr Amar Patnaik, a member of Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on the Personal Data Protection Bill, has said.

According to Rajya Sabha MP Patnaik, there has to be proper consultations between the Centre and the states on personal data protection which is currently not happening.

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“The state governments want a separate state-level data protection authority for the personal data. The best use of data happens when data flows between departments/states as well as flows vertically with Centre and states. This is not happening at the moment which needs to be addressed,” he said during the launch of ‘Impact Assessment of Non-Personal Data Governance (NPDG) Framework’ report by the Indian and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and EY.

Set up in 2019 to examine the personal data protection Bill, which seeks to regulate the use of an individual’s data by the government and private companies, the JPC was, in July, given an extension for the fifth time to submit its report by the winter session of Parliament.

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After its introduction in the Lok Sabha, the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, had been referred to the joint committee to seek views and suggestions on the legislation from individuals and associations/bodies concerned.

The committee met last month to deliberate on the legislation. This was the first meeting after its Chairman Meenakshi Lekhi was appointed as minister, and P.P. Chaudhary succeeded her.

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Patnaik said that the regime of using non-personal data for various purposes is definitely going to be dependent on the ways different sectors will use Non-Personal Data Governance (NPDG).

“Different sectors will also require different development efforts for developing the market. Agriculture, healthcare, education will all utilize it differently, the one size fits all myth should be dispelled,” he noted.

He emphasised upon the importance of light touch regulation and market development in extracting the full value of data.

The IAMAI-EY report found that over 76 per cent of the participants believe that external access to their company’s data even in anonymised formats will hamper their growth prospects and about 81 per cent believe that there should be a more nuanced definition of sovereign purpose in the NPDG framework.

The industry stakeholders believe it is important to ascertain the societal and economic benefits that may arise from the mandatory sharing of non-personal data.



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