DSCI proposes US, India collaboration for data transfer as per PDP Bill

DSCI proposes US, India collaboration for data transfer as per PDP Bill
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10 Sep, 2020

NASSCOM-backed Data Security Council of India (DSCI), and the global data privacy and cybersecurity think tank Centre for Information Policy Leadership (CIPL), have sought a formally binding cooperation agreement between the proposed Indian Data Protection Authority (DPA) and US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

The proposal was part of a joint report, which looks to address ways to ensure continuity of data transfer from India to US as per provisions of the Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB), which is currently under review by a joint parliamentary committee.

“Given the importance of US geography for India’s tech industry, which is estimated to touch close to $100 billion this year,  DSCI and CIPL have undertaken the development of this report to propose potential mechanisms to facilitate data flows between the two countries. It also analyses potential challenges in transferring data outside of India under the context of the PDP bill 2019,” Rama Vedashree, CEO of DSCI, said.

The report also proposes enabling data flow, through certifications and codes of practice, allowing data transfer mechanisms in the PDPB to be interoperable. This would include interoperability with APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) and EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

“... it is imperative that the joint parliamentary committee, the Indian government and other key stakeholders in India’s privacy debate act to prevent unnecessary barriers to data transfers that can hurt the Indian economy and digital transformation,” the report said.

It also stated that the provisions of PDPB does not allow for cross-border transfer of critical personal data, a category that yet to be defined, other than in cases of extremely limited circumstances. The provisions on sensitive personal data, on the other hand, prohibits the use of technology relying on distribution of data and increases cost of compliance for startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

According to data presented in the report, India is the eighth largest trading partner for the US. Trade in goods and services, including digital trade, between the countries surged from $16 billion in 1999 to $142 billion in 2018.