wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Govt isn’t considering ordering private companies to delete vehicle registration, drivers’ license data they bought

The government is not considering to order private companies to delete the driving license and vehicle registration databases that they had purchased from the Road Transport Ministry, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said in Parliament. This, despite the government scrapping the Bulk Data Sharing policy—which allowed it to sell these databases to private companies—last year, over privacy concerns. Before the policy was scrapped, these databases were sold to 108 private entities, including Mercedes, ICICI Lombard and Bajaj Allianz, and in the process, the government pocketed more than Rs 111 crore —Rs 1,11,38,79,757 to be precise.

When the government had decided to scrap the policy, we had pointed out that it should also ensure that data purchased by companies prior to that should not be misused, and the fact that the government isn’t even considering to order these companies to delete the purchased data seems problematic.

“There is a shift in the policy of this Ministry to publish reports specific to industry or stakeholders requirements, and further that there are issues in sharing of the personal information, it was unanimously decided that the ‘Bulk Data Sharing Policy & procedure’ should be scrapped,” the Road Transport Ministry had decided during a meeting with NIC and Home Ministry officials before it scrapped the data sharing policy. Instead, it decided to share reports generated on analysis of the data present with it, and on the basis of the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019.

In September 2019, MediaNama had reported that the government had pocketed Rs 68 crore by selling these databases. This means that in a little over a year since then, the government made more than Rs 43 crore, just by selling Vahan and Sarathi databases.

Why the Bulk Data Sharing policy was problematic: Apart from selling the massive database to companies and educational institutions, the policy also allowed the Ministry to share it with law enforcement agencies. The Vahan database includes things like, registration number of vehicle, engine number, model name, dealer’s name, and financer’s name, among other things. The price of the bulk data for FY 2019-20 was decided to be Rs 3 crore for companies, and Rs 5 lakh for educational institutions. Again, as we had earlier pointed out, the ministry had not held any public consultations before releasing this policy, neither did it go into specific details about the need for it, the demand, nor how it will ensure that the privacy of individuals is conserved.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
  • More so problematically, the Ministry had admitted in the policy that there is a chance of “triangulation” (matching different data-sets that together could enable individuals to be identified and their privacy compromised) of this database to identify a person.

Home Ministry, NATGRID  have access to the databases

Apart from these private companies, the Home Ministry, the National Intelligencer Grid (NATRID), and a flock of police departments in the country, including the Delhi Police, among others have access to the vehicle registration and drivers’ license databases, Gadkari said.

A list of all the entities that have access to the two databases can be found here.

Also read: 

Written By

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.

News

In this excerpt from the book, the authors focus on personal data and autocracies. One in particular – Russia.  Autocracies always prioritize information control...

News

By Jai Vipra, Senior Resident Fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy The use of new technology, including facial recognition technology (FRT) by police...

News

By Stella Joseph, Prakhil Mishra, and Yash Desai The Government of India circulated proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 (“E-Commerce Rules”) which...

News

By Rahul Rai and Shruti Aji Murali A little less than a year since their release, the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 is being amended....

You May Also Like

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ