Bloomberg Quint

Storing Data Locally Could Harm Indian Firms Too, Says USIBC Chief Nisha Biswal

Demands to store data of Indians in servers locally could have an impact on domestic companies as well, according to the head of U.S.-India Business Council.

“The data of American nationals and of so many different countries is processed in India by Indian companies,” said Nisha Biswal, president of USIBC, a business advocacy group. While it’s understandable that India wants to secure its data, it’s important to be “careful” while moving ahead with the demand, she told BloombergQuint in an interview.

A draft policy on e-commerce recently recommended that data of Indian consumers collected by online retailers and social media websites be stored locally. The Reserve Bank of India has also asked payment service firms to store their transaction data in India.

If every company starts requiring that data of the its nationals be held only in their own country, then what will happen to all of the industry that is supported in India?
Nisha Biswal, President, USIBC

News agency Reuters reported that representatives of American companies such as Amazon.com Inc, American Express Inc and Microsoft Corp will “intensify lobbying efforts” against the Indian government’s push to localise data.

Biswal said efforts should be made to find a middle ground that addresses India’s security concerns and well as concerns of American companies who find localising data storage will upset their business plans in India.

The number one recommendation we have made is that industry and government should convene, discuss and identify what those solutions are that meet both objectives.
Nisha Biswal, President, USIBC