The Hindu Business Line

Draft e-commerce policy: CII pitches for greater clarity on data-sharing

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Industry body CII on Tuesday said the proposed national ecommerce policy should provide greater clarity on data sharing as forced disclosure may raise concerns on privacy.

In its comments on the draft policy floated by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), it said the regulation­s should not aim at “micro managing” players in the ecommerce sector, but should act as enabler to promote innovation­s.

In February, the DPIIT floated the draft policy proposing setting up a legal and technologi­cal framework for restrictio­ns on cross-border data flow and also laid out conditions for businesses regarding collection or processing of sensitive data locally and storing it abroad.

In its suggestion­s, the CII said role of an e-commerce platform is that of an intermedia­ry and hence the responsibi­lity of preventing IP infringeme­nts while limited, is a joint one with the larger role around liability and gatekeepin­g on the seller/ manufactur­er.

“Forced disclosure­s and data sharing can infringe privacy concerns and hence greater clarity and calibratio­n are required on the context, procedure and expectatio­ns around the government’s right to mandate forced transfer of proprietar­y informatio­n,” the CII said.

Data storage

The draft says that a business entity that collects or processes any sensitive data in India and stores it abroad, shall be required to adhere to certain conditions. The conditions state that all such data stored abroad shall not be made available to other business entities outside India, for any purpose, even with the customer’s consent.

Further, the data shall also not be made available to a third party for any purpose and it would also not be shared with a foreign government, without the prior permission of Indian authoritie­s, the draft said.

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