Fiber optic cables feed into a switch inside a communications room at an office in the U.K. (Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg)

#SaveOurPrivacy: Data Localisation And Its Impact On The Internet

The #SaveOurPrivacy campaign has worked with BloombergQuint to produce these videos explaining the importance of appropriate legislation that protects the privacy, including data privacy of Indian citizens.

The Justice BN Srikrishna-led committee submitted its report to the government on suggestions for a data protection law last week. The draft law suggests norms relating to data collection and penalties for misuse.

Justice Srikrishna compared the report to buying a new pair of shoes. He said, “like new shoes, the report is tight in the beginning but it will become comfortable over a period of time." How well this will ‘fit’ will have to be seen in the context of lingering concerns around Aadhaar and Facebook’s data security.

With data security becoming a top concern, data localisation was also among the key issues deliberated upon, while talking of data protection and privacy.

In simple terms, data localisation is the move to restrict the flow of data or information within territorial boundaries. China, Russia, and many other countries are implementing variations of data localisation, by requiring data generated within their jurisdiction, to be stored in servers within those territorial limits. Some countries even require a “local presence” of the internet company, within their jurisdiction.

Naman Aggarwal, Asia Policy Associate at Access Now and a drafting volunteer at SaveOurPrivacy, agrees that are several pros and cons of data localisation, like the transfer of data outside the country that could also serve as a point of taxation. Then there are issues of government access to data if data is stored outside the country, but, according to him, there is a need to look deeper into each of the arguments, to help understand the issue and solutions better.

In this video, Naman Aggarwal delves into the issues concerning data localisation, and what this could mean for the freedom of the internet.

Also read: #SaveOurPrivacy: Apar Gupta Explains The Seven Principles Of Indian Privacy Code