In­dia to re­view data stor­age rules amid strin­gent leg­is­la­tion ef­forts

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

In­dia will ex­am­ine con­cerns raised by for­eign tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies around strin­gent rules to store data lo­cally, the gov­ern­ment said on Tues­day, an is­sue that has up­set firms such as Master­card and also irked the US gov­ern­ment.

The de­ci­sion to re­view the rules comes at a time when trade ten­sions between In­dia and US have risen. In­dia im­posed higher tar­iffs on some US goods on Sun­day, fol­low­ing Wash­ing­ton’s with­drawal of key trade priv­i­leges for New Delhi.

On Mon­day Com­merce Min­is­ter Piyush Goyal and lead­ers of tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies dis­cussed sev­eral fed­eral plans in the works to push for more strin­gent data rules.

The Re­serve Bank of In­dia (RBI) last year man­dated for­eign pay­ment firms must store their pay­ments data only in In­dia to al­low su­per­vi­sion.

The cen­tral bank rep­re­sen­ta­tive who at­tended the meet­ing “as­sured the in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives that the Re­serve Bank of In­dia will look into this,” a state­ment by the com­merce min­istry said.

A lob­by­ing ef­fort by Master­card, Visa Inc and Amer­i­can Express Co to di­lute or re­verse the cen­tral bank or­der has failed pre­vi­ously, Reuters has re­ported.

Master­card CEO Ajay Banga joined Mon­day’s meet­ing via video con­fer­ence, the gov­ern­ment state­ment said.

In­dia wants more strin­gent data stor­age rules so it can bet­ter ac­cess data and con­duct in­ves­ti­ga­tions when the need arises. Tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies ar­gue the rules would force them to change their busi­ness mod­els, hurt planned in­vest­ments and raise costs.

Us-in­dia trade groups as well as top US of­fi­cials have ex­pressed con­cerns around such rules in the past. “We’ll also push for free flow of data across bor­ders, not just to help Amer­i­can com­pa­nies, but to pro­tect data and se­cure con­sumers’ pri­vacy,” US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pompeo said last week.

Other than RBI rules, In­dia has also drafted an over­ar­ch­ing law on data stor­age which calls for all per­sonal data de­ter­mined to be crit­i­cal to be pro­cessed lo­cally.

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