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Data Localisation Provisions May Be Eased in New Data Protection Bill, Says Rajeev Chandrasekhar

India’s proposed data localisation rules had drawn criticism in the earlier version of its data protection legislation, Chandrasekhar indicates

data protection privacy

Proposed restrictions on cross-border data flows enforced through data localisation measures may be relaxed in the upcoming data protection bill, said Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar in an interview with Economic Times.  Cross-border data flows will be permitted provided that Indian law enforcement agencies and government organisations have access to the data of Indian citizens, and that “such data of citizens is safe even if it is stored in cloud architecture,” reported Economic Times.   While acknowledging that data flows support innovation in the digital ecosystem, Chandraksekhar argued that it is in India’s national interest to protect the data and privacy rights of India’s “digital nagriks”.  Why it matters: The Indian government’s change of heart may stem from the widespread criticism of its proposed data localisation measures. As MediaNama has previously reported, the data localisation provisions in the recently withdrawn Data Protection Bill, 2021, “requires government consultation for all the conditions under which transfer of sensitive personal data is possible, making the process of getting the necessary approvals even more cumbersome than before”.  In March this year, the United States government added that “these requirements, if implemented, would raise costs for service suppliers that store and process personal information outside India by forcing the construction or use of unnecessary, redundant local data centres in India … [and] could serve as market access barriers, especially for smaller firms.” The US government has also been critical of the Indian government’s past decisions to bar the operations of major…

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