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Shaping India's Data Governance Regime

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March 15, 2023

Why in news?

To use India’s G20 presidency to promote international cooperation in data governance there by resolving the issues concerning data governance

  • Data governance: Data governance is managing data usage, data security, data availability, and data integrity.
  • Data sovereigntyThe term “data sovereignty” refers to the principle that a country has the right to control the collection, storage, and use of data within its borders and also to the informational self-determination of citizens over their data.

How significant is data governance?

  • Increases the transparency, accountability and inclusive in nature.
  • Helps in protecting the privacy of individuals.
  • Helps in policy framing especially in inclusion and exclusion error management of policies.
  • Creates employment opportunities.
  • Helps in targeted delivery of schemes.

What are the recent efforts taken by government?

Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture (DEPA)

  • It was launched by the NITI Aayog in 2020.
  • DEPA is a consent management tool.
  • DEPA has the potential to improve data protection and privacy for citizens by giving them greater control over the use and sharing of their personal information.
  • DEPA could help to build trust in digital technologies and data governance.

India Data Management Office (IDMO)

  • IDMO is expected to oversee and coordinate the implementation of India’s digital strategies and data governance framework
  • It will ensure that data governance efforts are aligned with the country’s values and priorities.
  • IDMO will frame, manage and periodically review and revise the National Data Governance Framework Policy (NDGFP).
  • It is be set up under the Digital India Corporation("DIC") under Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITy).

What are the issues related to DEPA?

  • Issues with DEPA - If the consent management tool (DEPA) is not properly implemented or managed, there is a risk that personal information could be misused or misappropriated.
  • Implementation of DEPA may be inconsistent across different sectors and jurisdictions, which could undermine its effectiveness and create confusion among citizens.

Gopalakrishnan committee recommended the identification of certain “high-value datasets”, which could be shared for the purpose of encouraging innovation and ensuring national security.

What is the need of the hour?

  • India must respect and protect the fundamental right to privacy with a robust data protection law, and balance the interests of all stakeholders, including governments, businesses, and citizens for the goal of sustainable development
  • To ensure that data is collected, stored, and used in a responsible, secure and accountable manner — so that a resilient data governance regime can be accomplished
  • In order to realize the potential benefits of DEPA and minimize the risks, it is important that the tool is implemented in a transparent, consistent, and secure manner.
  • This will require close collaboration between the government, the private sector, civil society, and other stakeholders.
  • Opening of data “silos” to capture the potential wealth of data sharing between governmental offices, corporations and citizens.

References

  1. The Hindu | A Chance for India to shape Data governance regime
  2. MEITY | National Data Governance Framework policy  
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