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GDPR is a trendsetter in the world of data protection and is widely impacting worldwide data privacy laws. Can we expect something similar in India?

Data privacy is one of the biggest risks that modern businesses face. The use of big data elevates the complexity of this challenge even more. The question is; are you doing enough to fight the risk? If you think installing anti-malware software and conducting an audit every six months is enough to keep your sensitive information safe, you certainly need to revisit your data privacy measures. There have been some mega data breaches in the recent past; at massive business groups such as Verizon, Equifax and even Facebook. These data breaches teach us a very important lesson; no business is completely safe from the risk and cybercriminals are never at rest.

Data privacy is now a matter of universal concern, a serious problem; just like global warming and terrorism. Today, every nation needs stringent data privacy laws and regulations to ensure fair and safe use of sensitive information. With an aim to discuss the various challenges and concerns underlying in the Indian Data Protection Framework, ASSOCHAM recently conducted a Global Data Privacy Summit in Bangalore. The idea behind the summit was to invite views and suggestions from a multi-stakeholder community on the regulatory and judicial processes around nation-wide data privacy concerns.

Several business groups, IT delegates and data privacy enthusiasts from India and other countries participated in the event. The panelists discussed the challenges, opportunities and probable measures on stimulating issues like Big Data, worldwide Data Privacy, and effects of disruptive technologies on Data Protection among many others. Each discussion was followed by an interactive Q&A and networking session.

Estuate too, was a key participant at the event as the GDPR partner. Our Data and Analytics Head, Mr. Vishwas Balakrishna drove the discussion on “The influence of GDPR on global data privacy laws”. “GDPR is a game-changer in the world of data privacy. If nations across the globe get influenced by this revolutionary law and impose similar regulations, the status of worldwide data privacy will be stronger and more resilient in the days to come.” Vishwas stated.

The European Union’s GDPR is a rather bold and revolutionary step against global cyber risk. The law sets stringent restrictions on the usage of personal information of EU citizens. The good thing is, it is not just confined to the European borders, but applies to all companies across the globe. It is a strong, solid measure that strengthens data privacy despite the uncontrollable risk of breaches.

Data privacy is certainly a burning issue in the Indian ecosystem. In order to address this concern, the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 has been recently submitted by the Justice BN Srikrishna committee. The proposed bill is similar to GDPR in many ways. It states that “The right to privacy is a fundamental right and it is necessary to protect personal data as an essential facet of informational privacy.” It also binds any person processing personal information of Indian citizens to do it in a fair and reasonable manner. Non-compliance would lead to penalties up to Rs. 15 crores or 4% of business turnover.

Although it is still a proposed bill and is awaiting approval by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, it is a huge step in the right direction towards fighting cybercrime. If implemented, it could potentially change the face of the Indian Data Protection Framework for good.