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India’s stock market regulator mandates securities sector to store data locally

While data localisation has been relaxed in privacy legislation, sectoral regulators like SEBI batting for it creates a fragmented approach

As part of its new framework for the adoption of cloud services, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has mandated all entities regulated by it (such as stock exchanges, brokers, depository participants, mutual funds, KYC agencies, etc.) to ensure that their data is stored within India. Why does this matter: Businesses in general, not just those in the stock broking industry, have been against data localisation mandates because it increases compliance costs for them. For this reason, subsequent versions of the data protection bill have relaxed data localisation norms to a point where data localisation is no longer required. But sector-specific regulators such as RBI and SEBI are going ahead with data localisation mandates for their sectors, resulting in a fragmented approach to this issue. This also predominantly hurts foreign companies operating in India, as we saw with Mastercard, Amex, and Diners Club, who were barred for months as they weren't in compliance with RBI's data localisation norms. What does the SEBI framework require:  "In order to ensure that RE (regulated entity) and SEBI’s right to access RE data as well as SEBI’s rights of search and seizure are not affected by adoption of cloud services, the storage/ processing of data (DC, DR, near DR etc.) including logs and any other data/ information pertaining to RE in any form in cloud shall be done as per the following conditions: The data should reside/be processed within the legal boundaries of India. However, for the investors whose country of incorporation is…

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