India’s data dilemma
India data-curb plan ‘anathema’, US tech giants plan pushback.
India’s plan to regulate non-personal data is the latest irritant for US tech companies that have been battling tighter e-commerce rules and data storage norms that several countries are also developing.
New Delhi and Washington are already at odds on such issues, as well as over digital taxes and tariffs.
The USIBC draft letter says “forced data sharing” will limit foreign trade and investment in developing countries, and the panel’s proposals run against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s calls for U.S. companies to invest in India.
The lobby group expresses concern about the panel’s recommendation to mandate local storage for non-personal data, describing this as a “dramatic tightening” of India’s international data transfer regime.
“These are far-reaching concepts that would have a significant impact on the ability of both Indian and multinational firms to do business in India,” Washington-headquartered law firm Covington & Burling said in a note prepared for the USIBC, which was also seen by Reuters.
The law firm did not respond to a request for comment.
The Indian panel has listed research, national security and policymaking among purposes for which such data should be shared. Three sources said tech executives participated in several meetings in recent weeks to discuss concerns over the report.