Strengthen data protection provisions that apply to government: Mozilla

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On data localisation, Mozilla recommend that the broad requirement to store a copy of all personal data in India should be removed.
MUMBAI: Mozilla, which has been lobbying for data protection and the right to privacy in India, recommended strengthening provisions that apply to government as part of its submission of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) on the Personal Data Protection Bill.

Deadline to submit public comments on Indian government’s draft privacy and data protection law ends on Oct 10.
“In the legal ground that enables distinct treatment for government use of data, we recommend narrowing down the provision to only core public functions and not all “services and benefits,” said Mozilla’s Public Policy Advisor Amba Kak.

The comment was in response to the Justice Srikrishna Committee draft bill that provides for wide exemptions to the government on certain rules applicable to the collection and storage of personal and sensitive data if such processing is required for the functioning of the government or Parliament.

On data localisation, Mozilla recommend that the broad requirement to store a copy of all personal data in India should be removed. It added that categories of critical personal data that are currently localised in India for strategic or security reasons should be clearly stated, and the open-ended mandate to the Central government to notify further categories should be removed.

The proposed Bill, which is expected to be presented in the winter session of Parliament, contains provisions to mandate Internet firms to store certain types of data within the country. Global technology companies said it would impact their ability to do business in India.

Privacy experts have also expressed concerns that data localisation gives Indian government wide powers to snoop into citizen data - something that is not easy right now as most data centres are global.
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