The government recently constituted a committee headed by Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder of software firm Infosys, to look into issues related to non-personal digital data and recommend ways to regulate and protect such information. It is a laudable move as the Data Protection Bill that is being considered by Parliament at the moment focuses only on personal data of the individual.
The government's push towards digital inclusion and digital transfer of social benefits and performance monitoring are all generating huge volumes of digitised information pertaining to the Indian population. The growth of e-commerce firms and e-transactions is adding to this ever expanding data base. The committee - comprising representatives from the government, industry, academia and civil society - has a broad mandate and should utilise the opportunity to recommend a model law that takes care of the current as well as future challenges that such data aggregation might pose.
Joe C Mathew