Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had recently stated that the existing framework for protection of personal data by companies and service providers was insufficient and recommended stricter rules to tackle data breaches.
According to a report by Reuters, the recommendations on privacy, security and ownership of data were provided to the federal government’s Department of Telecommunications, which drafts the final policy on these matters. It has also pointed out that the entities controlling and processing user data do not have primary rights over that data.
“All entities in the digital eco-system, which control or process the data, should be restrained from using metadata to identify the individual users,” noted TRAI in a statement issued on its website.
Recommending a study to formulate standards for de-identification of personal data generated in digital ecosystem, TRAI has asked the government for a policy framework on regulation of devices, operation systems, browsers, applications among other things, the report highlights.
Replying to which Mr. Rajan S Mathews, DG, COAI states, “We are happy with the TRAI’s recommendations on Privacy, Security and Ownership of Data as the regulator is calling for all digital entities to be brought under data protection framework. This would include all devices, operating systems, browsers, and applications and would be welcome stop-gap measure till rules and regulations of the telecom services providers are applicable to them. This will ensure, in prevailing circumstances, that the privacy of users is protected and maintained. National security and privacy issues are of paramount importance. Accordingly, the regulator by making this recommendation is ensuring that no exception is made for any service provider, while subjecting them to the rules to meet the national security and privacy norms, i.e. same service same rule should be established for similar service providers. However, this is our preliminary view and we will need to review the other recommendations to determine their implications.”