Google says it will comply with local data norms in India

Google says it will comply with local data norms in India
An Indian Navy officer walks past the emblem of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) at RBI head office in Mumbai on Thursday.Photo by Shashank Parade

  • The Reserve Bank of India has requested all payment companies in India to store local data within the country’s borders.
  • The central bank have given all payment companies six months to comply with the notice.
  • Google says it is already taking user privacy seriously.
Following the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) request to all payment companies operating in India to setup data storage facilities, Google has started to work with the Indian government and industry to map out the best suitable policy for consumers.

“We follow local laws and local legislation, so whatever India decides we will comply with,” Rajan Anandan, Vice President for Google India and South East Asia, told Economic Times in an interview.

Anandan said that the company will be letting consumers choose how much data the company stores, along with an option for “taking it down”. He further added that Google is working with the local government to come up with the “right answer” that is good for both the country and its consumers.

Currently, Google dominates the internet in India through its search engine, YouTube, and the Android OS, which is the most used operating system in the country. The company also runs Tez, the second-most-used-payment application.

The RBI has imposed a deadline of six months on all payment companies operating in India to setup storage facilities in the country. The deadline evoked mixed reactions, with some sectors arguing that the deadline period is too short to comply, while others fear that it will disrupt a well-established global network and hinder new innovation.

Google launched its local data center in Mumbai in September 2017.

“Today, it is a global Internet economy. Obviously, when you change any aspect of that you have to be very thoughtful of what you want to change, because it has implications on many things,” Anandan said.

“You are changing complete architectures, very large infrastructures and networks, but our view is very simple. We should come up with right answer collectively. But it should all focus on what is the right answer for the Indian consumer,” he added.

Storing data locally will require a lot of modification to the existing infrastructure, and Anandan said that it will “not be easy”.

Following the Cambridge Analytica data leak, the government has been looking to mandate all internet firms to host data locally to protect user privacy.