Wednesday, February 8, 2023

CAIT ASK VAISHNAV FOR A STRONG DATA PROTECTION BILL

CAIT National Senior Vice President Amar Parwani, chairman Magelal Maloo , Amar Gidwani , State President Jitendra Doshi , States Working President Vikram Singh Deo, Parmanand Jain , Vashu Makhija, state General secretary Suriender singh , State Working General secretary Bharat Jain, State Treasure Ajay Agrawal and state Midia Prabhari Sanjay Choubey informed The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) in a communication sent to Union IT Minister Mr. Ashwini Vaishnav, while commenting upon Digital Data Protection Bill ,2022, has strongly advocated the need of Data protection rules to ensure that the retail and ecommerce sectors are not negatively impacted by the data collection and processing activities of big tech companies. The CAIT charged that these large companies misuse the personal data of Indian consumers to gain a competitive edge over local traders and retailers and therefore protection of data is all the more necessary.

CAIT National Senior Vice President Mr. Amar Parwani & State President Mr. Jitendra Doshi said hat restrictions are must on cross border data flow to ensure that user data is not misused, especially from the endless and unchecked processing of personal data by technology owners. The global tech giants collect and process global user data, and apply predatory algorithms to benefit their bottom line, at the expense of local sectors and economies. They also misuse personal data by targeting customers using a complex web of preferred sellers and service providers who benefit from preferential treatment such as low or no commission fees, as well as other benefits that give them an undue competitive edge over local entrepreneurs.

Mr. Parwani & Mr. Doshi said that the proposed legislation should also clarify that in the event of conflicts with sectoral rules & regulations, such as in the case of the RBI data localization mandate, the proposed personal data protection legislation is to be read in addition to the sectoral rules, and is not to be construed in derogation of existing rules and frameworks established by sectoral regulators. The trade leaders further said that revised bill has also removed the previous classification of personal data into critical and sensitive personal data, in favor of an umbrella definition that covers all types of personal data. This change ignores the disproportionate potential of harm that accompanies misuse and breach of sensitive information. Sensitive user data should be provided additional safeguards to prevent misuse by data fiduciaries and processors.

Mr. Parwani & Mr. Doshi said that large ecommerce players selectively misinterpret and bypass local laws by claiming to be an ‘intermediary’ under section 79 of the IT Act, 2000. As per the act, an intermediary is “any person who on behalf of another person receives, stores or transmits that message or provides any service with respect to that message” and includes internet service providers and telecom service providers amongst others. This provision exempts intermediaries from being responsible for third-party information which is stored/hosted/transmitted by the intermediary. Such activities are not of an ‘intermediary’ nature considering that the large ecommerce companies claim to be merely marketplace platforms. They however abuse intermediary status to control the entire retail and e-commerce value chains.

Both Mr. Parwani & Mr. Doshi strongly urged the Government to mandate large global tech companies to store and process the data of Indian citizens within the territorial boundaries of India will improve compliance with the provisions of the intended rules, enhance the ability of local law enforcement and pursue and deliver effective recourse in the event of misuse or breach of personal data, as well prevent the economic harm associated with big techs unchecked and unrestricted processing and consequential misuse of the personal data of Indian citizens.

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