CAN WE RESURRECT DATA
In the sound and fury over data for last couple of years and efforts of the governments and regulatory agencies to create a “Safe and Accountable Data Regime” does not seem to reach anywhere near fruition. If the impact of the Information Technology legislation, one of the first in the world, is a yardstick to go by, the future does not portend well for another momentous piece of legislation around the corner on Data Protection. The law on Information Technology was dealing with known tangibles, virtual and volatile at times did not have a successful run, by any strength of imagination. It might need other serious dose of tinkering to make it deliver what is mandated to .
Data on the other hand is an intangible; complex in its creation, transmission, storage, exploitation, monetisation, mercenary commercial exploitation and creation of a data ecosystem way beyond the imagination of the law makers worldwide. As no governance mechanism ever tracked the origin and growth of data in its multifarious ways and mechanisms, today all seem to be groping in the dark. The IT behemoths against whom this whole tirade is aimed, would be the last fellows who would even share any superficial knowledge of it. They know opening up would mean being shot as lame ducks even if it were to happen after a decade. In this opaque world, how do you move further.
If nobody has ever seen a conglomeration of caves, internally seamlessly connected, how can you make a strategy to control and monitor it to your advantage. The law makers turned shooters are getting ready to shoot down a bird which they can’t see and nobody has ever. Understanding data is the biggest challenge posed before this legislation. Where do IT behemoths derive their strength and energy from? The business which they have created on a mountain of data, its size and shape unknown, would cumulatively go in excess of $5 trillion. They operate seamlessly across the globe. It is certainly not as simple as enacting yet another Act.
That data gained them influence over everything, from governments to businesses to democratic elections to even our social interactions. It is like having billions of accounts with these few IT MNCs. They are data bank of the world, and data rules the world. They are the modern Digital Super States. They know everything about everybody and use it to their advantage. They are also the biggest advertisers. The battle is to resurrect data to the individual for whom these laws are being made. His asset should come back to him. It should not be handled against his consent. He would also have the right to withdraw his data asset. It would be a long and arduous journey towards this mirage.
THE RESURRECTION OF DATA TO ITS OWNERS WOULD BE THE BIGGEST RECLAMATION EXERCISE IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND.