Global technology groupings have come together to express their “strong concern” over the recommendations of a Joint Committee of Parliament on the data protection Bill.
The recommendations “run counter to global standards” for data protection and competition, the associations – whose members include Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Google and Dell – said in a letter to Union Minister of Electronics & Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw on Tuesday.
The absence of a formalized and robust public debate on these new provisions deviates from good regulatory practices, they added.
“Many of our joint member companies in India and from across the globe will be significantly impacted by the report,” they said.
“To ensure the success of India’s first comprehensive data protection law, we respectfully request MEITY to launch additional stakeholder consultations before introducing the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill in Parliament,” it added.
The JCP had recommended that the PDP Bill be renamed as Data Protection Bill, as it would include non-personal data as well.
The signatories include the US-India Business Council (USIBC), the US India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), Business Europe and The Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA).
These organisations said member companies are “united by the need to process, protect and transfer proprietary data” within the countries that they operate in, including India.
“Our companies rely on this data to reach consumers, drive business efficiencies, and continue to innovate,” they said in the letter. “The Report includes new recommendations and novel concepts to the PDP Bill, which, if enacted, would create powerful disincentives for India’s innovation ecosystem and the promise of a trillion-dollar digital economy.”
Key recommendations of concern in this regard are the inclusion of non-personal data, restrictions on cross-border data transfers, data localization obligations and mandatory hardware/IOT and AI software certifications, it added.
The recommendation to establish a domestic alternative to the international SWIFT banking system is also “unprecedented” which would have a significant detrimental impact on India’s financial sector and digital payments ecosystem.
“When these and other recommendations in this report are considered as a whole, their result, if enacted, would lead to a significant deterioration in India’s business environment, degrading the Ease of Doing business in and with India, and negatively impacting India’s domestic start-up ecosystem and global competitiveness. The ability of companies to participate in the Indian market would be dramatically impacted, thereby reducing foreign direct investment in India,” it said.
The other signatories to the letter include American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA), Asia Internet Coalition (AIC), Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), Software Information Industry Association (SIIA), TechUK and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). Pehal News