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The conversation surrounding data protection is a global one. Given India’s globally established strength in the IT sector and constitutional provision of privacy as a fundamental right, a forward-looking data protection regime is essential. Striking the right balance between safeguarding citizens’ privacy, ensuring data protection and encouraging innovations for economic growth will be crucial for India to further strengthen its technology-led societal development programs. It will also underscore that India is a destination for development and delivery of cutting-edge technology.
However, to effectively implement such a regime, the Government of India must engage stakeholders in consultations to build a framework that is evolutionary and allows for precision regulation within a principles-based legislation that offers certainty and predictability.
IBM pioneered the concept of data responsibility, and we continue to embody the principles of transparency, accountability, fairness and privacy in our work to develop emerging technologies. As data processor to the world across 170+ countries, we strongly feel that a consultative and collaborate approach to developing laws and regulations would cause the least economic disruption and lead to maximum compliance.
We urge the Government of India to reach out to a variety of stakeholders, including industry, for their insights and inputs in a robust consultation period before finalizing the data protection regime—one that will have far reaching impact across the Indian economy. Throughout IBM India’s long history, we have shown our commitment to responsible stewardship of data. We would welcome the opportunity to build upon our strong record of collaboration with the Government of India in developing common-sense policy solutions that ensure trust in technology. We look forward to working closely with Government officials in this process and contributing to what will be remembered as a watershed moment in India’s march towards the $5 trillion economy. We stand ready to help get this right.