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Draft e-com policy inimical to digital economy idea: IAMAI

Apr '19
Draft e-com policy inimical to digital economy idea: IAMAI
The draft National E-commerce Policy may be inimical to New Delhi’s efforts to build a trillion-dollar digital economy by 2022, according to the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), which feels the policymaking process was also ‘less than inclusive and open’ compared to more recent national policies. like the National Digital Communications Policy 2018.

By artificially curbing cross border data flow, by mandating data localization, by extending the definition of e-commerce to include all digital services like digital advertising and online streaming and possibly imposing foreign direct investment (FDI) restrictions—which is currently restricted to product e-commerce only under the Consolidated FDI Policy—in all digital services, the draft policy is likely to severely bring down FDI flows in the sector, IAMAI said in a statement.

Dffering with the draft policy’s understanding of ‘data is the new oil’, IAMAI stated that unlike non-renewable natural resources like oil or coal, data is non-exclusive, non-exhaustive and easily replicable. Furthermore, unlike other natural resources, processing of data does not deplete the stock of data and only creates further data.

Te provisions of this policy contradict the underlying principles of the draft Personal Data Protection [PDP] Bill on multiple grounds.

The PDP Bill is restricted to individual data and keeps anonymised data outside its ambit, while the e-commerce policy covers all data.

The former recognizes individuals as ultimate owner of their data and even the state is at best a fiduciary, while the latter considers the state as the ultimate owner of data.

The PDP Bill recognises consumers’ consent, while the e-commerce bill completely negates it. The former allows cross-border sharing of data with limitations based on category of data, while the e-commerce bill suggests a blanket ban, IAMAI pointed out.

Established in 2004 by leading online publishers, IAMAI represents the entire gamut of digital businesses in India. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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