DailyPost 1028


The desired state of data protection is being clarified in statute after statute. The gold standard for the time being is the GDPR, California law is in the offing and India is also moving in the same direction. Lots of water has flown in that direction and final statute is likely to happen sooner than later. While we might have a different take on some of the provisions of these laws or see the need for making it more comprehensive / progressive, there is no denying the fact that the law is finally moving in the right direction. The owner has to be legally protected.

The most pitiable owner of any asset is the owner of data. Though he owns the biggest asset in the world today, yet, more often than not, he is unaware of the very impact of these developments. He does not know the contours of his asset and for sure, he does not know the value of this asset. What is the present state of data protection in the world today, in IT behemoths, in different countries, sectors, ages, nature of data / classification, the data life cycle, the usage, the monetisation, what are the trends for the future, is deliberate or otherwise, how much of it is being facilitated by the Machine Learning and AI Revolution, out to transform this world?

If the present state is unknown as a logical corollary, the starting point is unknown and the planning thus does not remain exactly relevant. Hence, route to the desired state remains unknown. Herein, there is an urgent need for the creation of a Data Protection White Paper, any prior research done on companies, privacy and like will not be of any great use. It has to happen in the backdrop of the tone and tenor of these laws and also its provisions.

If data protection is to happen and come out of the statute books to the real lives of the data subjects as GDPR calls the users, this is the only way out. The companies have to be made compliant and lots of activities have to happen to make it happen. May be lots of statutes need to be enacted on the data operations of the companies and its periodic declaration to public authorities and inspections too. The clincher would be the objective gap analysis and our capability to strategise, plan and bridge it. In this complex technological world, every day wasted takes us that much farther from the goal.


Sanjay Sahay

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