Data

Data Localization: Lessons to Take From India’s King of Good Times

Data localization will also facilitate easier access for law enforcement agencies for the purpose of investigation and prosecution

By Gyanendra Mohan Rashali

Just when the American cloud behemoths Amazon, Google, and Microsoft had suddenly turned into Avengers of sorts to wage a war against India’s plans on data localization, Paytm has come up with its own ‘Make in India’ version of AI Cloud for storing data locally. As a result, the Indian government, which had been asking American cloud giant Amazon to set up its servers in the country, has finally got the leash in its hand for now—at least.

The demand for data localization was there for long. But it got intensified after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) advised payment system operators in the country to store customer data locally to prevent possible foreign surveillance. The memories of Cambridge Analytica, which had affected the lives of more than 562K people in India, have not faded away yet. Paytm’s move could prove a road to a new beginning.

Around 55% of the Government’s requests for data were turned down by Google some time back. The moment anything leaves our country, it falls under various jurisdictions. And it suddenly goes beyond our control. We have not been able to bring back the “King of Good Times” Vijay Mallya due to the same reason. So it is very very important to keep all our data in our country so that laws of our country can be made applicable to them. Data localization will also facilitate easier access for law enforcement agencies for the purpose of investigation and prosecution.

On the other hand, we cannot deny the fact that data localization will hit investments by American giants in India severely—further straining the already strained economic relationship between the two countries. So even as we are ready with our own servers and determined to go strong with data localization norms this time, we will have to tread on the middle path to preserve the interests of the national economy, people, and the country.

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