US senators call on India to soften data localization stance
NEW DELHI: Two US senators have called on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to soften India’s stance on data localization, warning that measures requiring it represent “key trade barriers” between the two nations. In a letter to Modi dated Friday and seen by Reuters, US Senators John Cornyn and Mark Warner - co-chairmen of the Senate’s India caucus - urged India to instead adopt a “light touch” regulatory framework that would allow data to flow freely across borders.
The letter comes as relations between Washington and New Delhi are strained over multiple issues, including an Indo-Russian defense contract, Indian tariffs on electronics and other items, and India’s push to purchase oil from Iran despite upcoming US sanctions. Global tech companies including Mastercard, Visa and American Express have been lobbying India’s finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India to relax proposed guidelines that mandate all payment data on domestic transactions in India be stored inside the country by October 15.