DPIIT Meets Companies On Data Storage, Draft E-Commerce Policy
A stream of binary coding is seen displayed on a laptop computer screen as a man works to enter data on the keyboard. (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

DPIIT Meets Companies On Data Storage, Draft E-Commerce Policy

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The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade on Tuesday held a meeting with industry representatives from information technology and e-commerce sectors to discuss the merits and demerits of draft e-commerce policy on data storage, an official said.

Besides, officials from National Association of Software and Services Companies, E-commerce Council of India, Informational Technology Industry Council, Confederation of Indian Industry and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry also attended the meeting.

Participants discussed about ways to attract investment in data storage infrastructure in the country. The big companies were asked to compile challenges as well as solutions and come back to the department in two weeks' time.

The official said the department heard views of all the participants, and another meeting is also expected soon.

The meeting was chaired by an additional secretary level officer of the DPIIT.

It assumed significance as the department is working to release the national e-commerce policy by the end of the current financial year.

The government in February last year released a draft national e-commerce policy, proposing setting up a legal and technological framework for restrictions on cross-border data flow and also laid out conditions for businesses regarding collection or processing of sensitive data locally and storing it abroad.

Several foreign e-commerce firms have raised concerns over some points in the draft pertaining to data.

The department has received huge response on the draft and it is examining all the views and comments.

As the draft policy includes several provisions related to data, the department is also looking at the Personal Data Protection Bill approved by the Cabinet.

Sources said that issues which needs to be looked upon in the policy include whether India should allow free flow of data across the border or inhibit or regulate it in some manner; and whether data localisation is required or not.

The Personal Data Protection Bill spells out a framework for handling of personal data, including its processing by public and private entities.

A company may have to pay a penalty if found violating norms under the Personal Data Protection Bill.

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