International trade operators are concerned about privacy

NEW DELHI: More than a dozen technology and trade groups from the US, Europe and Japan have jointly called for a parliamentary group to consider the Personal Data Protection Bill (PDP) to protect the "privacy of India's citizens" development of the country's economy.

The coalition, which represents companies such as Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and IBM, among others, has voiced concerns in areas such as data tracing, government access to non-personal data and classification sensitive and critical data. The letter was addressed to Meenakshi Lekhi, head of the jointly elected committee.

"We are concerned that certain provisions of the PDP bill would hinder the country's economic development, limit the ability of market players to innovate and in some cases may undermine the privacy of Indian citizens," the letter said.


The groups include the United States International Business Council (USCIB), the IT Industry Council, the Business Software Alliance (BSA), CompTIA, DIGITALEUROPE, and the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Association (JEITA).

"I really hope that this law will not kill the golden goose that laid the golden egg," said Stephen Braim, vice president, government affairs, IBM Asia Pacific.

& # 39; Specifying clear parameters & # 39;

"Nobody really knows what the long-term effect will be, but I think that with the innovation coming in the next five years, anything that would burden the Indian IT services will have a long-term negative effect."

In fiscal year 2019, India's software and services exports totaled $ 137 billion, a quarter of total exports of $ 535.5 billion, according to government data. In the 2020 financial year, software exports are expected to grow to $ 147 billion.

The letter called for the clause to be abolished, making it compulsory for companies to share non-personal, anonymous data with the government.

"Uncertainty in the definitions and restrictions on where data should be stored based on these definitions is a serious obstacle for many companies in planning their future investments in India," he said.

The coalition asked the government to wait for recommendations to be submitted by a committee headed by Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan for non-personal data before any legislation is finalized.

"In this regard, we respectfully ask the Government of India to set clear parameters for the government's access to both personal and non-personal data, based on the rule of law processes that protect the privacy of citizens and the trust of businesses."

Following the submission of the PDP bill to Parliament last December, it was referred to the Joint Parliamentary Committee, which had asked interested parties to send feedback by 25 February. The committee may ask interested parties to appear before it to understand their concerns.

The signatories also included ACT | The Application Union, the Internet Association (IA), the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) and techUK.