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Fine balance must for data availability, innovation and privacy: Ravi Shankar Prasad

The country is making all out efforts to strengthen cyber laws and data protection framework, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said at the Mindmine Summit while outlining India's aspirations for becoming a big centre for data analysis.

By: PTI | New Delhi | April 19, 2018 10:35:43 pm
Ravi Shankar Prasad, data availability, IT Minister , data protection law, India news, Indian Express news Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. (Express Photo by Prem Nath Pandey/File)

The new data protection law will be finalised soon, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday, asserting that India must strike a fine balance between data availability, innovation and privacy issues. The country is making all out efforts to strengthen cyber laws and data protection framework, he said at the Mindmine Summit while outlining India’s aspirations for becoming a big centre for data analysis. “We are erecting the architecture…cyber laws are being improved…cyber training and cyber forensics are being taken care of,” he said.

A high level committee under Justice B N Srikrishna (former Judge of Supreme Court) is crafting a data protection framework, Prasad said, adding, “very soon we will have a robust data protection law”. He said: “We must have a fine balance between data availability, data innovation, data anonymity and data privacy. We need data to improve business but the data must be anonymous, objective, and taken with consent.”

Prasad’s comments come at a time when data privacy has taken centre stage in global digital narrative. Over the last few weeks, the US social networking giant Facebook has drawn intense criticism from users and governments globally over the data leak scandal that hit millions of users.

Information of over 80 million Facebook users was allegedly harvested by data analytics and political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, leading to a global backlash against the company.

The Indian government too is questioning the two companies on data breach issue. Noting India’s growing clout in the global arena, Prasad said the country is setting the world agenda on sustainable development, climate justice, fighting terrorism, fight against black money and other important issues.

“Today India’s size is increasingly matching India’s clout. India weight is increasingly being appreciated globally,” he said.

Seeking to allay apprehensions that advent of new technology may displace jobs, he pointed out that Artificial Intelligence and other emerging areas may require new skilling but they will create hundreds and thousands of new jobs.

India, he said, has every potential to become a one trillion dollar digital economy in 5-7 years, creating new employment avenues. Alluding to the recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report which pegged India’s growth at 7.4 per cent in 2018 and 7.8 per cent in 2019, he said that projections reflect the clarity on policy front.

Listing out the government’s initiatives such as BPOs in smaller towns, Common Services Centres, establishing high-speed broadband infrastructure under Bharat Net and jump in electronics manufacturing, Prasad said India’s annual mobile phone production is likely to grow manifold in the coming years.

During the event, KPMG today launched a report, ‘India soars higher’, which is aimed at apprising investors about the prospects which the recent structural changes have brought.

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