Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal is holding meetings with Indian and foreign IT, e-commerce firms and other stakeholders to discuss issues related with online trade and data localisation. The meetings dwell on a string of issues including opportunities in the growing digital economy, understanding data flows from four aspects – privacy, security, safety and free choice, the Commerce Ministry said in a statement.
Besides, the meetings touch upon ownership and sharing of data, gains and costs of cross border flow of data and means to monitor use of data, the ministry said.
The minister is meeting with Indian and foreign e-commerce firms separately, besides domestic and overseas IT companies. The ongoing meetings are also expected to deliberate upon threats from large foreign competition, level playing field and impact of anti-competitive practices such as predatory pricing and other discriminatory practices.
The meeting holds significance as the ministry is in the process of finalising a national e-commerce policy. Multi-national firms have raised concerns over certain provisions of the draft policy.
“Gains and costs of cross border flow of data, ownership and sharing of data and efficiency gains and losses on utilizing Indian data servers, e-mails, clouds are likely to be deliberated upon during his meeting with e-commerce companies,” the ministry said.
Other crucial matters to be discussed with IT companies include anticipated increase in costs and efficiency losses due to data localisation; timeline to create a data infrastructure to comply with data localisation norms and developing Indian data servers, clouds, and e-mails.
The draft national e-commerce policy has proposed 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.