Groups of foreign companies are lobbying against India's Personal Data Protection Bill

Groups of foreign companies are lobbying against India's Personal Data Protection Bill

  • A group of associations, including the United States Chamber of Commerce, wrote to India’s minister of Electronics and IT against the implementation of the Personal Data Protection Bill.
  • They expressed that the policy may not necessarily be effective in protecting user data, but it will definitely raise the cost of conducting business in India.
  • Major technology players like Apple, Google and Uber are members of these associations.
Adding to the pressure on India’s Personal Data Protection Bill draft, a group of associations consisting of some of the world’s largest technology companies have written a letter to the country’s minister of Electronic and Information Technology.

Members of the group include Apple, Microsoft, Google, Canon, and Uber, who have jointly raised concerns that while the policy may definitely raise costs by 30-60%, it may not necessarily improve data security to such an extent.

Rather than propagating no regulation, the businesses have suggested setting up legal conditions for cross-border transfers to enable the free flow of data securely without the need for data localisation.

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Earlier the CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, had also written a letter to the minister emphasising the importance of the free flow of data for economic growth and digital economy.

Even India’s own state, Telangana, which is home to a host of tech firms and companies in the startup space, has expressed its concern that implementation of the bill would hurt their digital ecosystem.


The letter was signed by industry associations that include the United States Chamber of Commerce, the United States-India Business Council (USIBC), Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) and DIGITAL EUROPE.

Cost of business

In the proposed draft bill, the government proposed setting up a legal framework to monitor and supervise the processing of personal data. In that, one of the regulations aims at obtaining specific and explicit consent from individuals.

The issue come in with the clause where the stakeholders are obligated to prove specific notices indicating where and how user’s personal data is going to be processed and ensuring that this data is being handled in a way that’s error-free.

Not only does this require organisations to pitch in extra resources for implementation, but it means that before implementing any new improvements within the organisation, there would be more compliances to adhere to, increasing the time required.

India-based payments companies like Paytm and PhonePe take the opposite stance citing that there’s no reason to oppose the bill.

(Image source: IANS)