DailyPost 2576

The world revolves around data is a proven fact of the modern world, even when you are not using data even for any worthwhile purpose. While the country keeps talking about technology and now artificial intelligence ad nauseum the reality is otherwise. India remains a country with untapped data, which can both create immense commercial value and can vastly improve the quality of life of the toiling masses. It can also bring down drudgery at different levels in different ways for nearly the whole of working population, and the white-collar workers in totality.

In this vastly unguided data space, we see the data protection act coming into being, that too after hanging in the legislative limbo for a long time. In the scenario of data legally getting defined but practically remaining undefined, what great comes out of it, only the time will be able to tell. The tryst with information technology act has not been encouraging. Goodness or mediocrity of provisions of the act only come into play, only when we have the capability to enforce is across board and the data creator or to whom the data belongs, even gets a semblance of it. What is intriguing is that even lack the capability to even take cognizance of cases more so Suo motto. Today, he does not know what is his data and who holds it and how it being put to commercial use.

The commercial use can even be against him, if not individually, but at least as a group or community or in general against the whole world of users. The legality victory in the enactment of the law thus does not hold any ground, and in the weird circumstances that we are in, in the global data and data protection scenario, we have been regularly missing the woods for the trees. While the personal data is lost for good at the altar of commercial gains; multinational and otherwise, the government could do wonders in improving government services and governmental functioning itself, but their data remain under wraps.

Open data means government data which is put in the public domain with the expectation of it being exploited for purpose beneficial to people and also the business interests. It can and should also be used for research and development of the government, albeit by a third party or a large number of third parties. Open Data can change the way a government and country functions and the quality of life its citizens are likely to enjoy. From a democratic standpoint it increases probity in governance, in public life, which is the sine qua non of democracy. Only transparency through data can bring into open wheels within wheels propagated by nearly all governments. While data will remain supreme, data ecosystem remains broken.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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