Why CEO Sundar Pichai Took Out Time to Write a Letter to the Indian IT Minister

How it All Started

On 27th July, Justice BN Srikrishna submitted a report that builds up on the concept of data sovereignty – the idea that the data collected within a country are subject to the laws of the country.

The committee proposed recommendations on issues that are a concern for every country with a digital footprint – consent, data localisation, data labels, data authority etc.

Why Everyone Should be Concerned

The committee proposes a jurisdiction over processing personal data generated in India AND localised storage of personal data within the country.

Data localisation became an international concern after the revelations by Edward Snowden. The proposal to localise personal data even though based in legitimate concerns is impractical and expensive.

A lot of startups and mid-sized do collect data that are deemed personal (health, finance, sexual orientation etc.) and they rely of cloud based services of Amazon,

Microsoft etc. to store data and process it.

How are they going to manage this on their own?

Also, if the regulations are put in place aren’t we reinforcing the conservative nature that is seeping through the countries into our technology and data systems as well.

How could that ever be a good thing? And how long can it last? Aren’t we trying to build walls with brick and mortar to stop a hurricane?

The solution does most definitely does not involve restrictions but well thought out Government policies made in collaboration with real innovators in technology.

Data without walls. Data without borders. That’s the way of the future.