"While the Draft [Data Access] Policy is a step in the right direction, it needs to be more robust and privacy-preserving, and must not be implemented until there is a Data Protection Act in place. This would ensure that minimum levels of protection are there for the citizens," the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC.in) said in its feedback on the Draft India Data Accessibility and Use Policy 2022. "Moreover, the government should do away with the data ownership model and replace it with the data stewardship model, so as to ensure that the government does not monetize citizens’ data with low-security standards in place, and without any checks and balances," SFLC said. The draft data access policy, which was published by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on February 21, looks to introduce measures that allow for greater data-sharing amongst government bodies and other private stakeholders. It was open for feedback until March 18, 2022. Ownership and pricing of data Pricing data in conflict with Open Government Data principles: The draft data access policy claims to promote Open Government Data (OGD), but by proposing to price data there is a conflict with OGD principles because OGD refers to data collected and processed by the government that is free to use, reuse, and redistribute, SLFC submitted. Pricing this data goes against the principles of open data followed by most governments across the world, SLFC added. The data ownership model should be replaced by data stewardship: According to the draft policy, the datasets and databases formed by…
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