A government draft has proposed to make it mandatory for e-commerce websites and social media companies to store data about their Indian consumers locally, Reuters reported on Monday. Such locally-stored data will be available to the government for security and policy reasons, according to a draft framework.
However, the industry may get some time to adjust to the changes “before localisation becomes mandatory”, the news agency said, citing a Draft National Policy Framework document. As more players enter the space, the government will take steps to incentivise and develop capacity to store data of Indian customers locally, said the draft.
The compulsory local storage of data generated by Indian users will apply to “various sources including e-commerce platforms, social media, search engines etc”, according to the draft. The draft also said the government “would have access to data stored in India for national security and public policy objectives subject to rules related to privacy, consent etc”, Reuters reported.
The draft also proposed tightening the scrutiny of mergers in the e-commerce sector by the anti-trust regulator for even small deals that could distort competition. It also suggested that online payment gateways compulsorily include Indian card network RuPay as a payment option.
A committee headed by retired Justice BN Srikrishna had proposed in a draft bill last week that all critical personal data on people in India should be processed within the country.