Rajeev Chandrashekar interview with Arnab Goswami

Yesterday there was an important TV interview of Mr Rajeev Chandrashekar with Mr Arnab Goswami where the minister provided a great insight into the new Intermediary Guidelines  which come as an amendment to the February 25 2021 guidelines. The original version of this was the 11th April 2011 notification under Section 79, a part of which got endorsed by the Shreya Singhal judgement and part of which was clarified by the Visaka industries  judgement .

During the course of the interview several important aspects were discussed by Mr Rajeev Chandrashekar some of which are discussed here.

As regards the formation of the Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC), the minister stated that they delayed the notification by 3 months waiting for the industry to come up with a self regulation which they failed to do. According to the 25th February notification, a suggestion was made that industries could set up Level II dispute resolution mechanisms by creating a dispute resolution body at different industry levels.

Naavi.org had proposed setting up of a digital media compliance guidance center  along with the ODR service from www.odrglobal.in.

Additionally Naavi had suggested an important Self Regulatory method for the industry on the lines of the Domain Name dispute resolution policy such as IDRP/INDRP. This needs mention in the light of the observation made by the minister in the above interview.

We had proposed that the industry should develop an “Intermediary Dispute Resolution Policy” which incorporates the suggested regulatory methods and a voluntary contractual obligation to meet the requirements and settle disputes at the Level II dispute resolution mechanism managed by the industry itself.

Unfortunately the industry was in a combative mode and went to Court to obtain stay on the guidelines and several High Courts readily obliged staying the guideline in part. Had the industry responded positively  the Grievance Redressal Committee would not have been a critical necessity.

Even now the industry should look at the suggestions made for the “Intermediary Dispute Resolution Policy”. 

Second interesting aspect that came up during the interview was related to the “Naavi’s Theory of Data” in which we have discussed the hypothesis which we have named as “Additive Value Hypothesis”

The Additive value hypothesis was one of the three hypotheses which Naavi proposed under this theory, the other two being “Data Definition hypothesis”  and ” Reversible Life Cycle hypothesis

This theory was presented in the context of the Personal Data Protection Act and the additive value hypothesis recognized that when data changes its avatar from the raw data status to different levels of personal data including pseudonymized state or anonymized state, its value changes. The value may increase in some processes as the depth of the personal data increases and reduces when the data elements are pruned.

When Diamond is cut, we may chip off part of the stone but depending on the angle of the cut the value of the diamond increases. Similarly in some forms of pruning of information, information may shrink but its value may increase.

The theory suggested that the entity responsible for the transformation of data from one status to the other should be credited with the value addition and made the owner for that part of the data. This is the same principle which is followed in the IPR law where value keeps adding and each subsequent creator of value may claim ownership subject to the licensing contract.

In the Arnab Goswami interview, a point was brought by Arnab that “News is created by agencies” and its value is unfairly reaped by the Google kind of information aggregators. He was making a case for the News industry to get a part of the value realization.

This concept that “Raw News” is created by a news agency which is aggregated and modified to create further value by the Intermediaries like YouTube etc goes well with the Naavi’s theory of data. The “News” as data is a matter of “Non Personal Data Value Realization” and hopefully the Government will try to find a mechanism for recognition of data value and a data value exchange mechanism.

This is part of the continuing discussion on Data Monetization and Data Valuation that Naavi/FDPPI are engaged in.


Changes to Intermediary Guidelines

Guidelines challenged in Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court judgement of 20th April 2021 (WP 1082/2020)

The Chilling Effect

About Vijayashankar Na

Naavi is a veteran Cyber Law specialist in India and is presently working from Bangalore as an Information Assurance Consultant. Pioneered concepts such as ITA 2008 compliance, Naavi is also the founder of Cyber Law College, a virtual Cyber Law Education institution. He now has been focusing on the projects such as Secure Digital India and Cyber Insurance
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