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Govt should only seek aggregated data from e-commerce business during investigations: LocalCircles writes to MeitY

In a letter to MeitY joint secretary Gopalakrishanan S., citizen engagement platform LocalCircles said the government "should not have access to either the aggregate data nor the algorithms used by a business as such an access can be easily misused or compromised". It said such aggregated data is the core of their business model. On the basis of a survey of 6,000 start-ups conducted by LocalCircles, the company said government access to aggregated data should be permitted for law & order investigations or in enforcement situations. LocalCircles founder and CEO Sachin Taparia also said that there is "confusion" about which ministry is responsible for coming up with an aggregate or anonymised data policy, which will potentially be distinct from the E-commerce Policy. LocalCircles conducted this survey to understand start-ups' view on the e-commerce policy and data. According to the survey, 53% of 3,582 startups surveyed are of the view that the Indian authorities should direct private e-commerce businesses to share data only during "law and order and investigation" situations. About 14% were also of the view that the authorities should never seek for aggregated data. [caption id="attachment_204976" align="alignnone" width="550"] Source: LocalCircles[/caption] Start-ups should be permitted to share aggregated data with companies abroad In its letter, LocalCircles has made suggestions on the draft e-commerce policy: Aggregated data is core of business model: "Businesses spend significant amounts of resources to collect data, build products and services and a market and for many businesses aggregate data is the core of it and they…

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