Sensitive, super-sentitive data must remain in India, says Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

PTI New Delhi | Updated on September 20, 2019 Published on September 20, 2019

Minister of Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad (File photo)

The government asserted that it will not allow the country’s data sovereignty to be compromised, and made it clear that sensitive and super-sensitive data must reside in India.

Mincing no words, Union Minister for IT and Electronics Ravi Shankar Prasad said that there must be a fine balance between data availability, utility, innovation and data privacy.

“I would never like data sovereignty of India to be compromised for Indians. The super sensitive data, the sensitive data must remain in India,” Prasad said speaking at a conference on ‘Emergence and impact of Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things’, hosted by Jaipuria School of Business.

Citing an example of harnessing data for public good, the Minister said that data in the field of healthcare could usher new breakthroughs and innovations, solutions and medicines.

The Minister’s comments come in the backdrop of a burning debate on data, and storage restrictions being mulled for personal data. While some have dubbing data as the ‘new oil’, propagating protection of Indian users’ data on the Internet and social media platforms, others have said that countries should allow its free flow across borders.

This viewpoint is shared by Facebook Vice President (Global Affairs and Communications) Nick Clegg, who said that data should be allowed to flow across borders, and that it would benefit countries like India. He sais that data sharing is crucial for national security and India, right now, finds itself “locked out” of major global data-sharing initiatives that are aimed to clamp down on serious crime and terrorism.

Meanwhile, Prasad said that while the country has made its mark globally in IT services, ‘Digital India’ is looking to transforming lives of Indians. He added that India has also set its sights on manufacturing in a big way and poised to attract investments in areas like medical electronics.

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Published on September 20, 2019
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