Industry body ASSOCHAM and non-profit organisation Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Centre took opposing stances on data localisation in their depositions before the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Personal Data Protection Bill on August 11, two sources told us. While Kalam Centre argued in favour of data localisation for purposes of law enforcement, ASSOCHAM argued in favour of free cross-border data flows to encourage competition and investment. The next meeting is scheduled for August 20 at 11 am, at least four sources confirmed to MediaNama.

ASSOCHAM also proposed removing “inferred data” from the definition of personal data, arguing that if “inferred data”, which includes data that has been subjected to analytics, is allowed to be ported under user’s right to data portability, it could hurt companies’ intellectual property, two sources told us. Under right to portability, in addition to personal data that a user provides to a data fiduciary, “data which has been generated … by the data fiduciary” and “data which forms part of any profile on the data principal, or which the data fiduciary has otherwise obtained” are also supposed to be ported.

Ajay Sharma, Assistant Secretary General of ASSOCHAM, and Varun Aggarwal, Director at ASSOCHAM, deposed before the JPC along with Shahana Chatterji, Partner at the law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas. The Kalam Centre, which was represented by its founder and CEO Srijan Pal Singh and research fellow Sahil Gupta, argued in favour of data localisation for purposes of law enforcement, two sources told us.

Attendance on the second consecutive day of the JPC dropped to 14 members from 19 members on August 10.

It is understood that in every sitting of the JPC, representatives from the IT Ministry and Law Ministry are present to address any questions that the members of the committee may have. On August 11, MEITY Additional Secretary Rajendra Kumar was there along with Scientist ‘G’ Rakesh Maheshwari and Scientist ‘C’ Vikas Chourasia. They were accompanied by Rajveer Singh Verma, Additional Secretary of the Department of Legal Affairs, and R. Sreenivas, Additional Legislative Counsel in the Legislative Department.