Draft e-com policy moots safeguards against data misuse

The government plans to lay down principles for usage of data for the development of any industry, where such norms do not already exist, and put in place adequate safeguards to prevent misuse and access of data by unauthorised persons, according to a draft national e-commerce policy.

The government is in the process of developing regulations for personal and non-personal data, the policy, which is under discussion, said.

The draft stated that sharing of data for industrial development would be encouraged and regulations for data would be provided for the sharing mechanism.

According to the draft, the government acknowledges the importance of data as an asset and needs to use data emanating from India for ‘Indian entities first’.

An inter-ministerial meeting, under the chairmanship of a top official of the department for promotion of industry and internal trade, was held on Saturday to deliberate upon this draft.

For free and informed choice, it said that e-commerce operators would have to ensure that algorithms used by them were not biased and that no discrimination due to digitally induced biases was prevalent.

“Consumers have a right to be made aware of all relevant details about the goods and services offered for sale including country of origin, value addition in India, and any other such information which may be necessary for making an informed decision at the pre-purchase stage,” it said.

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