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Data protection framework must be based on Indian specificities and not a replica of developed international template: CCI official


Friday, July 27, 2018

Bengaluru, July 27, 2018: The Justice B.N. Srikrishna committee designing the data protection framework must ensure that Indian specificities are taken into account and it is not a ‘copy-paste version’ of developed international template, a Competition Commission of India (CCI) top official said at an ASSOCHAM event held here today.


“Tangentially the legal framework will have a bearing on competition outcomes, we expect that the recommendations are balanced such that the legal framework does not pick winners at the cost of competition as we know it,” said Ms Payal Malik, adviser, CCI while inaugurating an ‘ASSOCHAM Summit on Data Protection, Privacy and Security.’
She added that a firm legal framework for data protection ensuring compatibility between data-driven innovation and consumer data privacy must be put in place so that companies do not escape from complying with the nation’s laws by transferring data overseas.
The CCI adviser also said that while the data protection law is essential for the country, it has to be flexible enough to be consistent with India’s economic interests. “The law must not place undue restrictions on freedom of data movement which is at present very crucial for Indian industries to grow and value by innovating and competing.”
Conceding that regulators in India are still grappling and do not have much idea about what has to be done to make human centric anti-trust laws apply effectively to bot-intermediated transactions, Ms Malik said that the data protection law must take all these aspects into consideration.
“The approach should be protective and not restrictive in nature, a cost-benefit analysis is required to correctly reap in the benefits of data,” she said.
She also said that smart and not heavy-handed regulation should be brought in place while keeping privacy protection in focus and addressing issues related to consumer protection and competition.
Talking about the data-driven acquisitions, she said that for merger control regime in India to achieve its intended goals across sectors, it is probably time to revisit the desirability of uniform thresholds across sectors.
Striking balance is the need of the hour to be able to embrace social benefits of big data while avoiding harm to individuals.
She further said that while the CCI would address competition issues falling in its purview, it most important for regulators to work in tandem. “Regulations and regulators are totally dispersed and this is the reason why the national think-tank on e-commerce has been proposed by the government and deliberations are going on.”
Highlighting the need for appropriate remedies addressing both anti-competitive practices and data harms, Ms Malik said that authorities responsible for data abuses in the digital sector should meet to explore opportunities to promote efficient digital markets.
ASSOCHAM initiated its endeavour of value creation for Indian industry in 1920. It was established by promoter Chambers, representing all regions of India. Having in its fold over 400 Chambers and Trade Associations, and serving over 4.5 lakh members across India. ASSOCHAM has emerged as the fountainhead of Knowledge for Indian industry, which is all set to redefine the dynamics of growth and development in the Knowledge Based Economy. More information available on
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