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No Date On When E-Gov Data Anonymisation Guidelines Will Be Released Again

India's IT Ministry is still deliberating on when to re-release its draft guidelines on the anonymisation of e-gov data for public consultation. "The matter is under consideration," said the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in response to MediaNama's RTI on the matter earlier this week, adding that no information on a date can be provided currently. The guidelines were taken down from the "e-Governance Standards and Guidelines standards" website around September 6th this year, barely a week after news reports had indicated that they were open for public consultation. Sources speaking to The Economic Times at the time said they were withdrawn because "they were released without adequate expert consultation" and that a new document would be released in a few days. MeitY responded to MediaNama's RTI stating that no government orders were available directing the guidelines be taken down, adding that the decision to hold further deliberations on them once taken down was "decided in a verbal discussion". Information on the stakeholders currently involved in the re-drafting cannot be provided as the "matter is under consideration". MeitY further responded that no meetings had been organised by MeitY, and external third parties and other government departments and ministries were not consulted by MeitY while preparing the guidelines.  Initially open for public consultation until September 21st, the draft suggested voluntary "guidelines for anonymising data in e-governance and other similar projects. It includes technology options for implementation without delving into data use-case scenarios pre and post anonymisation. It also lists known data anonymity techniques and suggests practices that…

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