What is data localisation exactly?
Well, it is the practice of storing data on any device that is physically present within the borders of the country from where the data has been generated. Usually the data people enter, while swiping cards or entering bank account details, are usually stored in the cloud by the company outside of the country itself. Localisation makes it mandatory for the companies collecting critical data about the consumers to store and process them within the borders of the country.
Why is it important?
The main reason behind data localisation is to protect the personal and financial information of the country’s citizen from foreign surveillance and to give the local government and regulators the jurisdiction to call for the data as and when required.
What are the benefits?
- It secures citizen’s data and provides data privacy and sovereignty.
- It gives unfettered supervisory access to data which will help the India law enforcement in better monitoring.
- It ensures National Security by providing ease of investigation to the Indian Law Enforcement agencies.
- It will give local governments and regulators the jurisdiction to call for the data when required.
- Data centre industries are expected to benefit due to the data localisation.
- There will be greater accountability from the firms like Google, Facebook, etc.
- It will minimise the conflict of jurisdiction due to cross boder-data sharing and delay in the justice delivery.
What are the challenges faced?
- Infrastructure in India for efficiency of data collection and management is lacking.
- Fractured internet where the domino effect of protectionist policy can lead to other countries following suit.
- The encryption keys might still remain out of the reach of the national agencies.
- Maintaining multiple local data centre might lead to significant in the infrastructure and higher costs for the global companies.
- Inefficiency can be created due to forced data localisation and can also increase the cost and reduce the availability of data-dependent services.
Are there disadvantages? Yes.
- Currently India doesn’t have a well-developed system to ensure data protection.
- The data is vulnerable to cyber attacks without proper resources. And the risk is serious as it involves financial details.
- The security concerns regarding keeping all the data in a single location is also being involved here.
- If the government makes any changes to the current system then the most advanced technology the world has ever created might be destroyed.
- Many people from different nations are not willing to grant their governments the right to spy over them. They fear that if all the information is kept within geographical limits then the government would collect all the information and creep onto their private data.