Our Data: Not for Sale
The government published a draft data policy for public consultation, which s
ays all data collected, generated, and stored by every government ministry and department will be open and shareable barring certain exceptions.
Draft India Data Accessibility & Use Policy 2022:
- It prescribes that a regulatory authority called the Indian Data Council (IDC) and an agency by the name India Data Office (IDO) will oversee framing metadata standards and enforcement,
- The nomination of departments and state governments in the IDC will be by rotation with tenure of two years for one department. respectively.
- Each central ministry/department will adopt and publish its domain-specific metadata and data standards.
- The core objective of this policy seems to be purely revenue generation.
- It lacks clarity on a number of things such as how a high-value dataset will be defined.
- As per the Supreme Court’s Puttaswamy judgment on the fundamental right to privacy, the first ingredient to satisfy constitutionality is the existence of a legal, more often a legislative, basis. Without a law, there is absence of defined limits to data sharing that are enforceable and contain remedies.
- Public data is now being viewed as a prized asset of the Union government that should be freely shared, enriched, valued and licensed to the private sector. Given that more data means more money, commercial interests will prompt the government to collect granular personal details through greater capture and increased retention periods. Over time, the original objectives for which databases are built will get diluted in favour of commercial interests.
- Within the present draft data accessibility policy, while the phrase “open data” has been used, its values and objectives are absent.
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