(Last Updated On: September 15, 2020)

Mozilla does not approve of India’s draft plan which will allow companies to collect non-personal data.

The plan had been proposed in July 2020 by a committee chaired by Kris Gopalakrishnan, the Infosys co-founder, and it suggested that companies should have permission to use non-personal data that is made in India for commercial purposes. It also proposed that the government of India set up a new authority to look into how these companies use the data.

Mozilla said that a couple of these “blunt strategies” that were suggested have the possibility of doing more harm than good.

“Ultimately, a maximalist focus on boosting domestic industry could hurt the very businesses it is meant to serve, while limiting competition, and diminishing the choices of users,” they wrote in the comments of the proposal.

The company also added that the report had misjudged privacy concerns regarding the sharing of non-personal data. 

Mozilla also informed that the laws would take place of “the fundamental right to privacy with a notion of ownership akin to property, vested in the individual but easily divested by state and non-state actors, leaving individual autonomy in a precarious position.”

In general, the company warns that if these suggested laws took place, it could “harm Indians, isolate companies from their global counterparts, and cause other countries to retaliate with similar ‘data nationalism’ measures that would be counterproductive to India’s interests.”

Mozilla instead advised that the country aimed at instituting comprehensive data protection laws in order to relate to the standards that have been set by the EU. 

“Rather than viewing this as a zero-sum game, there is much for India to gain by leveraging the interconnectedness of the global digital economy while respecting the fact that privacy is a fundamental right guaranteed to all,” they added.

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