MSMEs and startups not in favour of draft Non-Personal Data Policy in its current form: Survey

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on September 27, 2020 Published on September 27, 2020

A majority of small and medium businesses and start-ups are not in favour of the Non-Personal Data Policy in its current form according to a survey by LocalCircles.

LocalCircles has recently released a survey report based on the draft Non-Personal Data policy released by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, released a draft non-personal data policy in mid-July.

According to the report, a majority of MSMEs and startups believe that “permitting large businesses and platforms to sell aggregate data for a price” will not help them.

“This is one of the most important inputs from startups and MSMEs where they believe that while such a policy may have a stated objective of helping small businesses, it will likely do the opposite if the aggregate data of businesses is requested to or sold by the business as a revenue stream for a price,” the report said.

“Many startups and MSMEs believe that this will lead to one large company buying aggregate data of another large company while small businesses struggle to make ends meet,” it added.

A majority of respondents also agreed that companies whose revenue is above a certain threshold should be allowed to decide the kind of data they want to share provided that it shares a “predefined number of data points for the good of the industry, small business or public.”

Furthermore, 72 per cent of small businesses also believed that the government should also share its own anonymized datasets in areas such as health, traffic, environment etc. while mandating businesses to share their aggregate data. This can help businesses in building more useful products and services.

Citizen’s perspective

As for citizens, when asked if people would consent to their non-personal data being shared in an anonymised manner, 27 per cent respondents expressed a strong unwillingness to share their anonymised data while 35 per cent said they will be willing to do so only in a law-order or an investigation situation.

Only 30 per cent of the participants were willing to share their anonymised data with the Government for general purposes as per the report

Furthermore, only 14 per cent of the respondents were in favour of businesses selling their anonymised data to other businesses and government.

“The kind of concerns that were raised by people included misuse of data for targeting specific communities or people residing in a particular area,” the report said.

“The big concern here amongst people is that if any organisation especially business is purchasing aggregate data from another business, there is a high likelihood that it will use it to target communities or groups of individuals with their products and services. This will likely mean unsolicited offers, spam and targeted advertising,” the report added.

The survey was based on over 17,000 responses from citizens and over 15,000 responses from the startups and MSMEs across India.

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Published on September 27, 2020
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