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Efforts on to line up e-commerce & data laws

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New Delhi: The commerce ministry, which is giving final shape to the much-awaited ecommerce policy, is soon expected to provide recommendations related to governance of data to the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), which is looking to regulate personal as well as non-personal data. Officials from MeitY as well as Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) – which comes under the commerce ministry – have been in talks to make sure there are minimum overlaps between the e-commerce policy and the data laws.

Last month, members of a committee on non-personal data, headed by Infosys cofounder S (Kris) Gopalakrishnan, met officials from the DPIIT to discuss these issues, an official aware of the development told ET.

While DPIIT officials were of the view that data laws need to be kept out of the ecommerce policy, they also felt that there were ‘gaps’ on non-personal data and the government should act fast to frame rules. DPIIT is expected to give its recommendations to the Kris Gopalakrishnan-led committee on how some critical data needs to be maintained, the official said. “There are certain aspects of critical data such as military, biological and genomic data, which need to be covered by the committee. There are gaps which we are looking at,” the official, who did not wish to be identified, said.

A quick fix is needed in the interim since the committee’s recommendations will not have legal ramifications, the official said, adding that the committee is only likely to suggest that an authority be set up to make the rules, which could be a long-drawn process.


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