EDITORIALS THE HINDU DAILY IMPORTANT EDITORIALS 03/AUG/2018 PRESENTED BY ISHAN EDUCATOR ON UNACADEMY)
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Will Imran Khan's win turther set back Indo-Pak ties A basis for Oposition unity
Discounting logic The draft e-commcroe policy has too many echous from the licence-raj cra Discounting logic opic- GS Prelims,GSM3 Context-The draft e-commerce policy has too many echoes from the licence -raj era. PIC CREDITTHE HINDU Page-8
1. DISCOUNTING LOGIC . The process of putting together a regulatory framework for electronic commerce in the country is finally speeding up. A task force of the Union Commerce Ministry has submitted the draft National Policy on Electronic Commerce, which will now be studied by a 70 member think- tank chaired by Suresh Prabhu, the Union Commerce, Industry and Civil Aviation Minister. India's e-tail business, estimated to be worth around $25 billion, is still a fraction of the overall retail sector in the country, but it has been witness to some frenetic activity of late, including the merger between homegrown, but Singapore-based, Flip kart and global giant Walmart. . Over the coming decade, the ecommerce pie is expected to swell to $200 billion, fuelled by smart phones, cheaper data access and growing spends. . The draft policy proposes the creation of a single national regulator to oversee the entire industry, although operationalising its different features would require action from multiple Ministries and regulators.
This would also need amendments to existing legislation and rulebooks Consumer protection norms to guard online shoppers from possible frauds too are overdue. . As per data available for the first eight months of 2017-18, over 50,000 e-commerce grievances were made to the Consumer Affairs ministry helpline. Traditional retailers too have voiced concerns about large e-tail players with deep pockets pricing them out of the market, and have been seeking a level playing field. The aim may be to prevent large players from pricing out the competition though unfair practices, but taken too far such licensing and price controls can depress the sector. Foreign direct investment restrictions on players who can hold their own inventory are sought to be lifted, but there must be a majority Indian partner and all products have to be made in India. . This seems like a leaf out of India's retail FDI policy that has similar procurement diktats that are not easy to meet or monitor E- tailer costs are also likely to rise on account of proposed norms on storing and processing data locally, while consumers and firms could both question the plan to stipulate payments via Rupay cards. The proposed e-commerce policy could drive away those planning online retail forays- and the opportunity to create jobs and benefit consumers would be lost.
Data localisation is no solution The data protection billis an opportunity for India to bea partner under the CLOUDAct 2. Data localisation is no solution Topic- GS Prelims,GSM3 Context-The data between the tS and the Sforeign cedural rales necessary for acta country ceriying that the stae Esingthese principles Even rud itsofb npkinkel komafdaasboudtemme limtheditbandaslial deprocedralpesindar ii.inteE protection bill is an opportunity for India to be a partner under the CLOUD Act. e thut daa loliaton is ti ces to daa is determined by the gt dataot just for crimes com oppurtunity and refons l User data PIC CREDIT-THE HINDU Page-8
2. DATA LOCALISATION IS NO SOLUTION Calls for data localisation are not new.It has been a mainstay of Indian olicymakers' demands from foreign technology companies. The Justice Srikrishna Committee in its report accompanying the draft Personal Data Protection Bill released on July 27 notes that eight of the top 10 most accessed websites in India are owned by U.S. entities. . This reality has often hindered Indian law enforcement agencies when investigating routine crimes or crimes with a cyber element. Police officials are forced to rely on a long and arduous bilateral process with the U.S. government to obtain electronic evidence from U.S. communication providers. The committee seeks to correct this
USER DATA . The Bill calls for a copy of user data to be mandatorily localised in India, believing that it will "boost" law enforcement efforts to access data necessary for investigation and prosecution of crimes. If passed in this form, however, the law will be counterproductive, hurting law . The last few months have witnessed an amplification demands, with the Reserve Bank of . The reason that Indian law enforcement relies on an outdated Mutual Legal Assistance enforcement efforts and undermining user rights in the process. India, to take one example, calling for local storage of financial data. Treaty (MLAT) process to obtain data stored by U.S. companies is because the U.S. law effectively bars these companies from disclosing user data to foreign law enforcement authorities. . This scenario will not change even after technology companies relocate Indian data to India. . The committee too acknowledges that data localisation is not a perfect solution. .Its decision is borne out of hope that when questions of data access are determined, their storage here will give rise to a strong Indian claim. This is not an unreasonable expectation, albeit a weak one.
. Even if Indian authorities force compliance from U.S. companies, it will only solve a part of the problem. The draft bill mandates local storage of data relating to Indian citizens only. . Localisation can provide data only for crimes that have been committed in India, where both the perpetrator and victim are situated in India. Prevalent concerns around transnational terrorism, cyber crimes and money laundering that the committee rightly highlights will often involve individuals and accounts that are not Indian, and therefore will not be stored in India. For investigations into such crimes, Indian law enforcement will have to continue relying on cooperative models like the MLAT process. . Questions around whether access to data is determined by the location of the user, location of data or the place of incorporation of the service provider have become central considerations for governments seeking to solve the cross-border data sharing conundrum. The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act, passed by the U.S. Congress earlier this year, seeks to de-monopolise control over data from U.S. authorities.
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