Even as Trai's consultation paper would look at privacy and security of data only in the context of the telecom sector, a broader project to deliberate on data protection laws is being worked on by a Committee of Experts headed by Justice BN Srikrishna, which was constituted by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on July 31. Available on Android and IOS.
Citing provisions under the Indian Telegraph Act, Trai said preserving data confidentiality is a fundamental motivator for ensuring security of telecom infrastructure and "vulnerabilities in the telecommunication infrastructure can lead to disruption of basic services with a severe impact on citizens, businesses and the delivery of public services". This brings into question whether you truly have full access to your own information if there are restrictions on how you can use your own personal data.
Once the process is completed, TRAI will issue recommendations to the telecommunications department, which, in turn, will take a final decision on implementation.
The authority has suo-motu made a decision to come out with the consultation paper as it felt it was necessary to frame some guidelines regarding data protection and sharing of data with third party players. Unfortunately, as can be expected, the app requires complete access to the call log, call details, and text messages.
"The consultation will be on data security, ownership and data privacy in the telecom sector".
Sharma was speaking about Digital India Foundation Event and said a question like these arise when data is currency, property and valuable "What can be the objection of a third party if the user wants to willing share his information", Sharma provided adding that a consultation paper will be issued in 1-2 days.
Sharma said, "The larger issue is who owns data generated by a mobile user, what their rights are, and whether any other entity can extinguish his (user's) right to the data in the name of securing it". "This is what we call data colonization". Can the Rights of Data Controller supersede the Rights of an Individual over his/her Personal Data? Should the User's consent be taken before sharing his/her personal data for commercial purposes?
Are the data protection requirements now applicable to all the players in the eco-system in India sufficient to protect the interests of telecom subscribers?
Q. 9 What are the key issues of data protection pertaining to the collection and use of data by various other stakeholders in the digital ecosystem, including content and application service providers, device manufacturers, operating systems, browsers, etc?
Trai has set deadline of September 8 for comments on the paper and September 22, 2017, for counter comments.