International Development News
Development News Edition

'India's data must be controlled and owned by Indian people'


'India's data must be controlled and owned by Indian people'
Mukesh Ambani

Amid a raging debate on data localisation, richest Indian Mukesh Ambani Wednesday said "data colonisation" is as bad as previous forms of colonisation and India's data must be controlled and owned by Indians.

Speaking at Republic Summit here, Ambani, who is chairman of energy-to-telecom conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd, said data of an individual or business belongs to them and not to corporates who could use it to monetise from them.

"In this new world, data is the new oil. And data is the new wealth. India's data must be controlled and owned by Indian people and not by corporates, especially global corporations," he said.

Throwing his weight behind Indian authorities seeking companies to store data locally, he said the Supreme Court has mandated that data privacy is sacrosanct.

"Therefore, for India to succeed in this data-driven revolution, necessary steps will have to be taken to migrate the control and ownership of Indian data back to India - in other words, Indian wealth back to India," he said. "Data colonisation is as bad as the previous forms of colonisation."

Data freedom, he said, is as precious as the freedom won in 1947.

The government wants companies doing business in India to store all customer data locally. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in April ordered companies to store the "the entire data relating to payment systems operated by them... in a system only in India" so as to ensure "unfettered supervisory access" for "better monitoring."

Companies like Google had complained about the six-month deadline.

The government too is considering a draft data-security law that requires data centres for all companies be physically located within India. Also under consideration is an e-commerce policy that requires the storage of customer data in India.

"Fundamentally, I am a big believer in the power of all of us together rather than a power of few. I think that will differentiate China and India in the long-run. My belief is that a decentralised empowered world where everybody being equal is better off than where few people are in power. That is true for data world," he said.

Ambani said the world will have to go from aggregator model to a distributor model as he backed those arguing for preventing foreign companies from repatriating and making money off of Indian consumers' data.

"Important thing is that data of an Indian belongs to him. It does not belong to a corporation, whether it be Indian or global. The only right that the corporation has is exactly like a bank that if I give you a fixed deposit locker and you put your money. which is your data in my locker, it doesn't become mine that I take that money and gamble on the stock market. If I make gain take it and then say I have given back your Rs 100. It doesn't work like that," he said.

Fundamentally, he said, the data belongs to the individual. "If I use or monetise it in any way, I have to transparently share with you the gains of that," he said. "I strongly feel on data ownership and the way data should be monetised for every single entity. This is true for individual, small merchants, small shops, small businesses, and large businesses. Even my business data should be my own data." PTI ANZ MKJ

(With inputs from agencies.)


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

How music can help expectant mothers during pregnancy

Music provides pleasant ambience for all but its more important for expectant mothers as besides ensuring pleasant environment for them it also directly and indirectly influences the unborn babies. There are various scientific findings to c...

EdTech: A technical approach to flexible and cost-effective education

Its hight time for the world to go for innovative approaches like e-learning over traditional learning methods that need physical infrastructure, long-term planning, and huge investment. ...

Our school campaigns are our strongest ally: Joaquin Antuna, founder of Peace and Cooperation

Joaquin Antuna is the founder of Peace and Cooperation, a Spanish NGO which was nominated as peace messenger by the United Nations in 1986. Antuna is of very firm opinion that in order to have an incisive impact on the community we live in,...

'No escape from telephones', this 1953 prediction actually comes true

In 1953, a telephone company chief predicted that therell be no escape from telephones in the future....

Videos

Latest News

USCIRF expresses concerns over NRC, says 1.9 million Assam residents may soon be deemed stateless

Expressing concerns over the NRC exercise, the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom USCIRF said on Tuesday that close to two million long-time residents of Assam may soon be deemed stateless and alleged they are bein...

Fitch affirms China's A+ rating with a stable outlook

Global credit rating agency Fitch Ratings affirmed Chinas long term foreign currency rating at A, saying it was supported by the nations robust external finances and its strong macroeconomic performance.Fitchs outlook on China is stable, th...

Increasing hurdles prompt UN to update standards for former combatants

Increasing hurdles which prevent former combatants from returning to a peaceful civilian life have prompted the UN to update its standard practices, in an effort to ensure they remain fit-for-purpose for years to come.In recent years, the p...

FOREX-Dollar, yen supported as caution prevails on mixed trade signals

The dollar and the safe-haven yen found support on Wednesday as a lack of clarity on U.S.-China trade talks kept investors cautious ahead of the release of minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserves last policy meeting.Moves were slight as jade...

Give Feedback