CUTS bats for holistic approach to data regulation

The Page One Asia, July 19, 2020

Rights group CUTS International believes that a holistic approach would be needed with a single regulator to deal with personal and non-personal data.

‘There is a need to adopt a whole of government systems approach towards data regulation, and the Data Protection Authority should be the single data regulator in the country,’ Udai S Mehta, Deputy Executive Director, CUTS International in a statement said.

However, Mehta hailed the release of the finding by the committee of experts on non-personal data (NPD) governance framework and added that it provides appropriate consideration to the subject’s sensitivity.

The study recommended securing the consent of data principals for processing non-personal data, along with personal data but the group said that it did not comprehensively discuss the rights of data principals, including actions they are eligible to take in case of violation of their rights.

The finding highlighted the importance of lightweight regulation and remains conscious of the compliance costs of regulations.

However, it misses out on stressing upon the adoption of scientific and inclusive regulation-making process, such as undertaking regulatory impact assessment, framing risk-based regulations giving due consideration to rights of data principals, and ensuring regulatory harmonisation.

The report empowers the government to request access to non-personal data for security, legal, law enforcement and regulatory purposes, and calls for mandating sharing such data to open up competition for start-ups.

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