"The guideline on anonymization of data were [sic] withdrawn to ensure harmonization with other policies under consideration and reassessing their completeness," said India's IT Ministry in parliament last week. What's the context? Late last August, the Indian government quietly released draft guidelines on the anonymisation of e-governance-related data. The problem was, they were taken down barely a week later, with as little fanfare as when they were first released. So, MP Priyanka Chaturvedi asked the IT Ministry about the status of the guidelines last week at the Rajya Sabha. So, when will the government re-release these guidelines? Those timelines are unclear according to the Minister of State for Electronic and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar. "The other policies such as National Data Governance Policy announced in the Budget 2023, with reference to which consistency was to be ensured [with the data anonymisation guidelines] are not yet in place. Therefore, no view has been taken regarding republishing of the said guidelines for public consultations," he said in response to Chaturvedi's question. That's a consistent response: Last year, we asked the IT Ministry about why the guidelines were taken down and when they'd be back up. It had "no information" on government orders asking the guidelines to be taken down, adding that the decision was made "in a verbal discussion". When asked about who is re-drafting the guidelines or when they'll be re-released, the Ministry said "the matter is under consideration. Hence, the information .. may not be provided at this stage." What's data anonymisation again? This means 'anonymising'…
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