Data is the New Oil, Attempt to create Economic Colonies using Data Mining is a reality

I draw the attention of readers to an interesting article titled “American Data Miners are modern avatars of British East India Company”   . 

This article also has relevance to the lobbying that many International companies are presently attempting to change some of the provisions of the PDPA 2018 (Proposed Personal Data Protection Act).  Many vested interests have been even organizing seminars with the ulterior intention of mobilizing public opinion against the move of the Government which only says “One Serving Copy of personal data collected from India should be held in India”.

It is however noted that there are many  experts  who are vocally opposing the moves of these companies and we see heated debates in the seminar halls and WhatsApp group supporting the Government’s move. considers that the provisions of PDPA 2018 has taken into consideration the views of the industry and accommodated the international players sufficiently. It has at the same time tried to safeguard the Indian interests both from the national security perspective as well as a need to give a boost to the Indian data storage eco system.

Just as the Y2K gave a boost to the Indian IT industry, the move of the Government has substantial economic significance and hence has to be pursued. It has the potential to create more data centers in India with associated activities including development of the professional work force with specialization in Data Protection.

Referring to the “East India Company” reference made in the article in, we need to highlight that has several times in the past during discussions on Copyright and IPR indicated that the IPR regulatory regime is being used to create economic powers to ride over India. Now we see a similar attempt through the International Data Protection Regulations.

In our earlier article “Data Processors in India should avoid entering into unenforceable contracts which may be termed “Fraudulent” we had highighted how the “Standard Contractual Clauses” used in EU recommendations is an attempt to over ride Indian law. Sensing such attempts, we had recommended during the deliberations of the Srikrishna Committee that Indian Companies should be protected from international assault through data protection laws by creating an “Umbrella of Protection” so that no penal action be launched against Indian Companies under GDPR or similar laws except through the Indian Data Protection Authority. (Refer: “Data Protection Law in India… Three Big Ideas …. Data Trust, Jurisdictional Umbrella and Reciprocal Enforcement Rights“).

It is unfortunate that even during the East India Company days, India has been exploited by foreign agencies through obliging locals who could be bribed by various means to support the long term exploitation goals of the foreign interests ignoring the interests of the nation.

Even today, the same threat continues to haunt us and is also reflecting in the commercial aspects related to data localization or data protection in general.

Recognizing the need for Indian Data Protection Professionals to keep the interests of the nation on top of their minds, the Foundation of Data Protection Professionals in India (FDPPI) has adopted as its objective, of building  an empowered community of  Data Protection Professionals who contribute to the development of a Secure Information Society in India taking the national interests into consideration.

I hope the long term benefit of having an organization that focuses on Data Protection without neglecting the national interests would be appreciated by the community and translates into an active participation in the activities of the Foundation.


Also refer:

India: The Debate – Data Localization And Its Efficacy

How localization of data will affect firms, consumers


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