Our Comments on the Non-Personal Data Governance Framework Report

Our Comments on the Non-Personal Data Governance Framework Report

A committee of experts under the Chairpersonship of Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan was constituted to deliberate on the Non-Personal Data Governance Framework. It studied the various issues involving non-personal data and to make specific suggestions for consideration of the central government on the regulation of non-personal data.It published its report on July 12, 2020 and had sought comments on the Report till September 13th, 2020.

The Report has  attempted to define  non-personal data, and proposed several concepts including the concept of community, public and private data,   non-personal data authority, data trusts, data businesses, data custodians etc. This Committee of Experts was essentially constituted to provide the areas of focus and a blueprint for an appropriate system of governance with checks and balances. While the Report highlights many of the areas of focus, it fails to clarify what sort of an institutional structure would be beneficial in regulating non-personal data, ensuring that data principals receive their fair share of benefit from the processing of their data or how misuse can be thwarted.

The Committee has undertaken the laudable task of trying to address the issue of big data amassed by huge corporations like Google, Facebook and Amazon and allowing smaller players to access this. However, it is debatable whether this framework is the right approach for it. The framework is replete with abstract concepts and ideas. It lays out a very shaky platform to draft a legislation which aspires to be a model for the world. 

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