The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) stated that it would finalise the recommendations on privacy, security and ownership of data in Indian telecom sector by the end of April. Trai Chairman R S Sharma has confirmed this news, further asserting that Trai is looking to give the issue its due importance. In recent times, the issues around data protection have come to limelight and privacy concerns are increased as well. After the Facebook Cambridge Analytica Scandal, more concerns about the privacy has raised. Last year, Trai issued a consultation paper on privacy, security and ownership of data in the telecom sector, which was followed by an open house discussion in February this year.
"Our recommendation on data privacy, security and ownership of data in the sector will come by the end of this month," Sharma told PTI in an interview. He also stated that the regulator would share the views with the Justice B N Srikrishna Committee, which was appointed to closely work on the detailed data protection framework for India.
"We will be making the recommendations available to the Justice Srikrishna Committee. Essentially, we will provide these as our inputs...We have already written to them saying we are expected to come out with our views, and we will be sharing them," Sharma said.
As stated, the data privacy concerns have raised significantly in the last month or so, thanks to the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal, which stirred the entire internet. A British data analytics claimed that the personal information of 87 million Facebook users has been shared illegally to help political campaigns and influence polls in several countries. And the same leak included the data of over five lakh Indian people.
"The Trai chairman termed data privacy, security and ownership "extremely important and relevant issues" but declined to comment further on the regulator's ensuing recommendations," reported by PTI.
"I will not be able to lay out the contours, but we treat this subject as extremely sensitive and important, and we give it the importance which it deserves," he said.
The Trai's consultation paper on data privacy and security will attempt to define the personal data, meaning "who should be the owner, responsibilities of entities storing or controlling data of subscribers for delivering services among various other aspects, to give users more control over their digital data."
It will be interesting to see what Trai comes up with next and how it will make an impact in the ever-growing data privacy concerns list.