‘One size fits all’ myth must be dispelled for effective Data Governance: Dr Amar Patnaik

Dr Patnaik Releases IAMAI-EY Report on Impact Assessment of Non-Personal Data Governance (NPDG) Framework

New Delhi: Dr Amar Patnaik, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha and Member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on PDP, speaking at IAMAI’s virtual conference on the Non-Personal Data Governance (NPDG) framework remarked: “The regime of using non-personal data for various purposes is definitely going to be dependent on the different ways different sectors will use NPD. Different sectors will also require different development efforts for developing the market. Agriculture, healthcare, education will all utilize it differently, the one size fits all myth should be dispelled.”

 

While launching the IAMAI-EY report on Impact Assessment of Non-Personal Data Governance (NPDG) Framework, Dr Patnaik emphasized the importance of light touch regulation and market development in extracting the full value of data. A sentiment echoed by the finding of IAMAI-EY’s research report.

 

The report found that over 76% of the participants in the survey believe that external access to their company’s data even in anonymized formats will hamper their growth prospects and about 81% believe that there should be a more nuanced definition of sovereign purpose in the NPDG framework.

 

India’s data-sharing practices are currently based on the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP) under which the Government of India had introduced the Open Government Data (OGD) initiative to improve public data usage and accessibility to its citizens. However, the research found that not all ministries, departments, and state governments update or share their data regularly.

 

It also noted that the presumed benefits to start-ups from the mandated data sharing are unlikely to create level-playing field. Rather, the data-sharing mechanism may only aggravate their challenges as this will add to a long list of compliances and liabilities faced by enterprises despite the steps taken by the Government of India to enhance ease of doing business. Hence, in the absence of any market failure the NPDG framework should have a light touch regulatory approach, if any.

 

The report states that effective implementation of the NPDG framework hinges on clarifying key terms and concepts such as ‘harm’, ‘public good’, ‘sovereign purpose’, and ‘public interest’ while also ensuring alignment and consistency across the PDP Bill and the NPDG framework especially considering that critical personal data imposes externalities on non-personal data. Also, 40% of survey respondents expressed discomfort in sharing data with the data trustee, citing that entrusting a non-government body with metadata could lead to data spillovers among competitors.

 

The industry stakeholders believe it is important to ascertain the societal and economic benefits that may arise from the mandatory sharing of non-personal data. A pilot in select sectors will help in ascertaining the challenges in implementation as well as better assessment of value creation, accretion, and distribution.