Nasscom meet: Trust in digital world hinges on building ethical standards, say industry leaders

Diksha Munjal Mumbai | Updated on February 13, 2020

(from left) Keshav Murugesh, Group CEO, WNS, and Chairman of Nasscom, along with Sangita Reddy, JMD, Apollo Hospitals; Ashwin Yardi, CEO, Capgemini Technology Services India; and R Chandrasekhar, Chairman & Co-Founder, The Centre for the Digital Future, at the BusinessLine round-table on the sidelines of the Nasscom Leadership & Technology Forum 2020, in Mumbai, on Wednesday   -  PAUL NORONHA

Tough for govt to monitor firms with huge volumes of data: Nasscom chief

With the number of data breaches and consumers increasingly worrying over how their data is being used, there is a need to set up ethical standard and framework to build trust in a highly digital world, according to industry leaders.

“Today, it is the big corporations of the world who are talking about things like colonisation of Mars. But the government, on the other hand, has lost sight of things. We cannot depend on the government to really govern subjects of new technology. Therefore, having a government agency or body to monitor all companies which have high volumes of data, is going to be difficult. Instead, an ethical standard and framework has to be created around data usage and protection,” said Keshav Murugesh, Group CEO, WNS, and Chairman of Nasscom, at an exclusive round-table discussion with BusinessLine on the sidelines of the Nasscom Leadership & Technology Forum.

Complex issue

Highlighting the complexity over building trusts, especially with governments accessing user data, R Chandrasekhar, Chairman and Co-founder, The Centre for the Digital Future & Former Secretary, Department of Telecom, said that the Government is both a player and a regulator, so it is a complex issue. “Government has the responsibility towards national security which becomes a brahmastra when it comes to accessing data. So how do you balance the necessary right of the Government with the right of the people who may be subject to snooping. Bigger question is how do you enforce it when the Government is both a player and a regulator.”

“We need regulations that enable the abundance of data to be utilised in a sensible manner before bringing in regulations to protect and control it. As a country, I believe we are moving much faster on the control regulations than we are on the enabling ones,” Chandrasekhar added.

Murugesh said that the top 9-10 corporations of the world today have tremendous influence because of the amount of data they possess. Therefore, how that data is being used in a way, that people sharing their data feel safe, is of great importance. “All of us are greatly focused on creating models that govern areas of data processing and trust, and are going into it with great confidence,” he said.

Trust is built online

Talking about the increasing importance of data trust and protection Ashwin Yardi CEO, Capgemini Technology Services India Ltd, said, “The global pattern of declining trust can only be addressed by using technology. According to some of our own research, trust is being built online between consumers and producers on platforms like Airbnb and Uber. It is all based on online data.”

“How companies are looking at data has definitely become a boardroom discussion. Regulatory frameworks for the same are also coming up, the European Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has aggressive provisions under which companies could have 3 per cent of their revenue at stake, in case of a breach,” he added. Addressing how data can be used in sectors like healthcare and how a balance can be struck between utility and privacy, Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals said “Healthcare is now gradually moving from the four walls of a hospital to 24x7 ubiquitous access to care enabled by your smartphone and medical data. Health data needs to be captured and used a manner to use opportunities to react fast. My vision entails creating a PHR (Personal Health Record) using a unique healthcare identifier like an Aadhaar for organised data collection. It is a fact that shared data creates shared value, but if it is not used effectively without a trust-environment, it can prove to be dangerous.”

Published on February 13, 2020

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