Ram Sevak Sharma, Chairman, TRAI emphasised the need to address key issues on data privacy, data protection including consent and the need for accountability in cases of misuse.

Sharma, addressing a one-day conference on ‘Digital Data Privacy, Protection and Monetization Models’ organised by IIM-B and FICCI, said “I have spent over four decades in the government sector and I have witnessed a vast change in this system. Aadhaar has brought in a modern data privacy regime in India.”

Delivering the special address over a video conference facility, he said “Earlier, there was no urge for data protection and privacy amongst the masses but with the introduction of Aadhaar, the need is being felt amongst the public. Unfortunately, the law hasn’t been introduced yet and we still need an overall privacy law in our country. The Aadhaar Bill limits the usage of data and it can be shared only with consent,” he explained.

In his introductory remarks, Ullas Kamath, Chairman, FICCI KSC and Joint Managing Director, Jyothy Laboratories Ltd, said “Data is becoming crucial to public and government. India must play a pivotal role in the deliberations on security and a responsive governance structure.”

“The focus of today’s conference is on the possible trade-offs amongst aspects such as data protection, privacy and rapidly growing digitally-driven economic systems that have been key priorities for India in the preceding three years. We hope this conference provides us answers to questions in and around the subjects in the light of the privacy laws envisaged,” he added.

G Raghuram, Director, IIM-B in his address said, “The Indian market has tremendous growth potential in the data market. We are swiftly evolving from a knowledge economy to a data-driven economy. In less than a decade, technology has disrupted the landscape in healthcare, transportation and banking. India has data, huge market opportunities and immense talent and it is up to us to decide out what we want to do with it. In the long run we need to come up with a strict privacy law.”

A Damodaran, Faculty from the Economics and Social Sciences area at IIM-B, and DPIIT Chair Professor on IPR, said “The conference aims to propose policy guidelines on data flows and explore the design of a new data economy for India. It delves into the requirements for a Digital and IPR infrastructure for India that can lead to the emergence of a robust data economy in the country. The conference will also discuss corporate strategies and responses to controls and regulations on data.”