The central government is considering issuing instructions to big companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon to share the anonymous personal data they have with a government-backed database.
If this step is taken then these companies can claim their rights over such data. Also, the question of ownership of anonymous personal data can also give rise to a big debate. The Government of India has been considering this issue for a long time and the upcoming Digital India Bill, 2023 is also focused on this issue.
If this move is finalized, these companies can claim intellectual property rights on such data providing information to any consumer and start discussions about the ownership of such data. The central government is also taking interest in this type of data because it
The government is also taking interest in this issue because such datasets form the basis of artificial intelligence i.e. AI intelligence.
What is anonymous personal data?
First of all let us know what anonymous personal data is. This is a data set in which personal identity is not revealed. This includes holistic information like overall health data of certain people, weather and climate data of an area, traffic data etc.
This data is separate from personal data, although such data may identify the individual. This data includes things like the person’s email, biometrics. Anonymized data can be used to serve a variety of purposes without compromising the privacy of individuals.
What is the government going to do?
The IT ministry has added a provision under the upcoming Digital India Bill to the Information Technology Act 2000, which will force big tech companies to submit all non-personal data they have on the Bharat Dataset platform. In a conversation with Indian Express, a senior government official said that this draft has not been made public yet.
Part of upcoming bill
The move is part of the upcoming Digital India Bill, which has a provision to force big tech companies to deposit all non-personal data they hold in a government-backed database, known as the Bharat Dataset Platform.
Earlier in May 2022, the government had released the draft National Data Governance Framework policy, under which it had only “encouraged” private companies to share non-personal data with startups and Indian scientists.
The government’s argument is that big tech companies have benefited from creating algorithms based on non-personal data of Indians and they should not assert their rights over it.
Why is the government considering accessing big technical data?
According to the working group constituted by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the dataset platform is envisioned as an integrated national data share and exchange platform for various stakeholders including government, private companies, micro, small and medium industries, academia and others.
Apart from this, non-personal data maintained by Bharat Dataset platform can also be monetized, that is, money can be taken from this data which will play an important role in economic benefits.
What will happen after the bill is passed?
If the Digital India Bill 2023 is passed, it will act as the successor to the Information Technology Act. It is an important part of the broader legal framework.
This bill will boost the AI ecosystem in India by providing a strong foundation for data governance and development. The bill is also designed to ensure comprehensive monitoring of India’s digital landscape and effectively deal with upcoming challenges such as cyber crime, data security, deepfakes, competition between different platforms on the internet, and negative impacts of online security and AI. Is designed for.
Even in early October this year, Minister of State for IT Rajeev Chandrashekhar had hinted at a change in the government’s stance on ownership of non-personal data. Responding to a question on whether the government has changed its position on encouraging private companies to share non-personal data with dataset platforms, he said, “I cannot tell right now what it is, but for sure.” Actually, there has been a change in our stance regarding this.
Kazim Rizvi, founder of tech policy think tank The Dialogue, said on the issue that the government’s idea of bringing in rules for sharing non-personal data could help unlock its value. “First of all, the data sharing system should be voluntary,” he said.