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Apple, Google, Microsoft say data bill will not protect Indians' privacy: Report

The group, representing 10 global tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Uber and Nokia, had written to Ravi Shankar Prasad, saying the proposed bill will not assure guarantee of user data.

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | October 4, 2018 | Updated 14:02 IST
Apple, Google, Microsoft say data bill will not protect Indians’ privacy: Report

Some of the biggest tech companies have united against India's proposed data security bill, expressing concerns over some of the provisions like "forced localisation requirements" in the draft bill that they claim will neither benefit their business nor assure guarantee of user data. These companies believe that once the Indian government will pass the controversial data security bill, it will automatically curb cross-border transfer of information.

As per the proposed bill on data security, which will be likely presented in Parliament during the winter session, multinational companies need to ensure that the key data of Indians remain within the country. The group, representing 10 global tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Uber and Nokia, had written to the minister for electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad, last week. They reportedly said if the bill was implemented, the new provisions would raise their business cost by 30-60 per cent and would also not assure that data is safe in the country.

Some of the major corporations representing these companies include the United States Chamber of Commerce, United States-India Business Council (USIBC), DIGITAL EUROPE, and Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA). The grouping says the companies have major investment interests in India and believe in free flow of data across the world.

"We believe that once India develops strong privacy protections through a data privacy law with legal conditions for cross-border transfers -- such as globally recognised transfer mechanisms like standard contractual clause -- then data do not need to be localised," said the grouping, reported the Economic Times.

To show its dominance amid the government efforts to protect data, the grouping thinks data localisation requirements in the draft bill will have "significant negative effects". Without explaining how the bill would undermine the security of Indian citizens' data, the grouping wrote the bill would not serve the government's aim to protect privacy.

Most multinational companies have been critical of the Modi government's plans to bring data processing and information flow across the border under the ambit of law.

Companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft have sought more time to comply with the norms. During Law and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's visit to the company's headquarters in California, Google conveyed to the minister that they are ready to comply with the RBI rules but want two more months to see through the data storage rule.   

Edited by Manoj Sharma

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