Online platforms can’t abuse data to impact free choice: Prasad

Online platforms can’t abuse data to impact free choice: Prasad
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New Delhi: The government on Friday reiterated its firm stand on data privacy and against online platforms abusing data to impact free choice in India.

Speaking at the Global Mobility Summit here on data analytics and mobility, Union Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said acquisition of big data should be done with fair and transparent principles.

“You can’t abuse data to impact free choice in India… We have flagged (this) very very clearly,” said the Minister.

Of late, the IT Ministry has taken a strong stance on data privacy and its reported misuse in the electoral process of the country, among others.

Earlier, in June Prasad, who is also the Law Minister, had said that any attempt to influence the 2019 general elections by any “covert or overt” manner would not be accepted.

The Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee on data protection in India submitted to the government in July suggested amendments to various laws, including the Aadhaar Act, to provide for imposition of penalties on data fiduciaries for violations of the data protection law.

“The citizen’s rights have to be protected, the responsibilities of the states have to be defined, but the data protection can’t be at the cost of trade and industry,” the report had said.

Prasad, on Friday, further said: “Internet is one of the finest creations of human mind, it should not remain the monopoly of few.”

“If Internet is to become truly global it must have linkage with the local — local ideas, local views, local heritage.”

He also emphasised on the need for a balance among data availability, data utility, data innovation, data anonymity and data privacy.