We had over 115 people at our first #NAMAprivacy conference, discussing the Future of User Data, across four intense sessions through the day. We’d like to thank all of those who participated in making this a meaningful, knowledge-sharing session, and our speakers and facilitators for setting the stage for debates, and arguments.

Some photos from the discussion are here.

As someone said at the end of the discussion: it’s always great when people start disagreeing. A first-time participant said that this was much better than he had expected, and he got those “20% new insights” that he looks for in discussions. Needless to say, we all went back with more to think about and mull over.

While we’ll have more detailed notes later tomorrow, but a few things that I remember off hand (I was a bit zonked, so yesterday is a bit of a blur for me):

  • It’s a false choice between consent and harms based regulation. Need both. One without the other is ineffective.
  • A data regulator is not necessarily the best idea. Consent may be broken, but regulation is even more inept and broken. We need better (and better paid) regulators.
  • Apps take more permissions than they need: the same service for two banks: one bank takes 2 permissions, another takes over 34 permissions.
  • Data is just collateral: there are businesses which provided the same service without collecting so much data.
  • More work needs to be done on data characterisation, given that all kinds of data is not equal.
  • In terms of jurisdiction, there doesn’t necessarily need to be local hosting. You can create a regulation where jurisdiction extends over data, no matter where in the world it is hosted.
  • Cash is more anonymous than bitcoins, which leave an audit trail. Blockchains are an audit trail.
  • Separation of databases is something to consider: for example, Info Edge does not link the Naukri database to Jeevansathi.
  • Need more stronger punitive action against misuse of data. Need to set an example.
  • Startups vs bigger companies (a heated debate) saying that incumbents want regulation in order to create entry barriers.
  • Purpose limitation shouldn’t be such that it limits business innovation.

There was a lot more than this, and we’ll have stories and videos up soon. Thanks to Facebook, Google and Microsoft for supporting this discussion.

Thanks to our great speakers and facilitators:

  • Chinmayi Arun, Centre for Communication Governance at NLU Delhi
  • Malavika Raghavan, IFMR Finance Foundation
  • Renuka Sane, NIPFP
  • Smitha Krishna Prasad, Centre for Communication Governance at NLU Delhi
  • Ananth Padmanabhan, Carnegie India
  • Avinash Ramachandra, Amazon
  • Hitesh Oberoi, Naukri
  • Jochai Ben-Avie, Mozilla
  • Manav Sethi, ALT Balaji
  • Mrinal Sinha, Mobikwik
  • Murari Sridharan, Bankbazaar
  • Sumandro Chattapadhyay, Centre for Internet and Society
  • Saikat Datta, Asia Times Online
  • Shashidhar KJ, MediaNama

We had participation from organizations such as Adobe, ALT Balaji, Amazon, Amber Health, APCO Worldwide , Asia Times Online, Bank Bazaar, Blume Ventures, British High Commission, CCOAI, CEIP, Change Alliance, CIS, CPR, DEF, Deloitte, DNA, DSCI, E2E, Eurus Network Services, Facebook, Firefly Networks, Flipkart, Fortumo, Google, MeitY, i420 Digital Media, IAMAI, ICRIER, IFMR Finance Foundation, IIM-Ahemdabad, IIT-Delhi, Indic Project, Info Edge India, IT for Change, ITU-APT, Jindal Global Law School, Luthra & Luthra Law Offices, Microsoft, Mimir Technologies, MobiKwik, Mojo Networks, Money Control, Mozilla, NASSCOM, Network18, NIPFP, Nishith Desai Associates, NIXI, NLU-Delhi (CCG), Office of MP Vivek Gupta, ORF, Panag & Babu Law Offices, Paytm, PLR Chambers, PRS Legislative Research, Publicis Groupe, Quartz India, Royal Enfield, Saikrishna & Associates, Scroll.in, SFLC.in, Spectranet, Sqrrl Fintech, Svran-Apeejay Journalism Foundation, Symantec, TechLegis Advocate & Solicitors, The Ken, The Pioneer, TRAI, Twitter, Vasuman Khandelwal & Partners, Vodafone India, World Wide Web Foundation, etc.

Bangalore next?

We’re considering doing a follow up discussion in Bangalore. In case you’re interested in participating/sponsoring, please do give us inputs (dates, location, topics for discussion), here.