Google says govt needs to allay fears before mandating sharing of non-personal data

BENGALURU: The government needs to allay industry concerns regarding a proposal to mandate internet companies to share non-personal and anonymised personal data with it for policy making purposes, technology giant Google said.

Section 91 of the new personal data protection Bill, which is currently with a joint committee of parliament, states that the government may direct any company to provide any personal data — anonymised or other non-personal data — to enable better targeting of delivery of services or formulation of evidence-based policies.

Chetan Krishnaswamy, director of public policy at Google, said there were concerns around intellectual property rights, possible de-anonymisation of personal data, legal liabilities and a lack of safeguards.

He made these comments at a panel discussion at ITechLaw conference in Bengaluru on Friday.

“In principle, it makes sense but arbitrarily, without adequate safeguards, it is ridiculous,” Krishnaswamy said. “Government needs to allay fears before non-personal data sharing is allowed.”

Justice (retired) BN Srikrishna, who was also part of the panel, spoke on the risks of de-anonymisation of personal data shared with the government and a lack of discussion on regulations governing non-personal data.

The former Supreme Court judge is the chief architect of the Bill.

“There is a lot of data which could be useful for the community. This requires a separate discussion. What is the necessity of adding it to Personal Data Protection Bill? I am lamenting the lack of debate,” he said.


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