India’s Non-personal Data Curb Program Shocks US Tech-giants

India’s attempt to control non-personal data has jolted U.S. tech giants Amazon, Facebook, and Google and a coalition representing them is planning to respond to this step taken by Indian authorities, according to sources and a letter from Reuters, against their proposals.

A government-appointed panel in July proposed setting up an information regulator that would be anonymous or free of personal details but essential for companies to develop their companies.

India’s Non-personal Data Curb Program Shocks US Tech-giants

The panel proposed a framework for companies to exchange data with other organizations including opponents suggesting it would accelerate the digital ecosystem. The report would form the basis of a new law to control these data if it is adopted by the government.

Yet the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC), part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, calls for anathema data sharing to encourage competitiveness and, according to a draft letter to the Indian government, this undermines investments made by companies to process and collect this information.

The panel’s head, Kris Gopalakrishnan, a founder of Indian technology giant Infosys, said the committee is collaborating with the government to review industry feedback. The USIBC draft letter says forced data sharing would limit international trade and investment in developed countries and the panel’s recommendations run against Prime Minister Modi calling on US firms to invest in India.

The lobby group expresses concern over the panel’s suggestion that local storage be required for non-personal data, describing this as a dramatic tightening of India’s international data transfer regime. The Indian panel has identified among the purposes for which these data should be exchanged science, national security, and policy-making.

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