Dr. Patnaik’s IAMAI-EY Report on Non-Personal Data Governance (NPDG) Framework’s Impact Assessment


Dr. Amar Patnaik is an esteemed Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha. He is also a generous member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on PDP. He presented his valued assessment on the Non-Personal Data Governance (NPDG) framework at the virtual conference of IAMAI. He said, “The regime of utilizing non-personal data for different purposes is undoubtedly going to be reliant NPD, the diverse ways different sectors use. Different sectors will also need different development efforts for expanding the market. Agriculture, education, healthcare will all utilize it differently. The greatest myth of one size fits all will be dispelled soon.”

During the launch of the IAMAI-EY report on Impact Assessment of Non-Personal Data Governance (NPDG) Framework, renowned speaker Dr. Patnaik highlighted the importance of light-touch regulation, including market development in obtaining the total value of data. The finding of IAMAI-EY’s research report echoed this viewpoint.

This valuable report also observed that more than 76% of the survey participants believe that outside access to their organization’s data, even in anonymized formats, will impede their growth anticipations. On the other hand, about 81% of participants believe that a more nuanced explanation of sovereign purpose should be there in the NPDG framework.

The data-sharing practices in India are mostly based on the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (NDSAP). Under this, the Government of India had launched the Open Government Data (OGD) initiative. This initiative was launched to promote and improve public data usage and convenience to its citizens. However, the research also discovered that not all departments, ministries, and state governments regularly share or update their data.

It also remarked that the presumed advantages to start-ups from the mandated data sharing are not creating a level playing field. Instead, the data-sharing mechanism may only intensify their challenges. Despite the Government of India’s efforts to improve ease of doing business, a long list of liabilities and compliances faced by enterprises has already been added to the list. Hence, in the nonexistence of any market failure, the NPDG framework should possess a brilliant light-touch regulatory approach, if any.

The report also states that the NPDG framework’s effective implementation hinges on defining concepts and key terms like ‘public good,’ ‘harm,’ ‘public interest,’ and ‘sovereign purpose.’ 

It also ensures consistency and alignment across the NPDG framework and the PDP Bill especially contemplating that critical personal data commands externalities on non-personal data. Additionally, 40% of survey respondents reported discomfort in sharing data with the data trustee. According to them, trusting a non-government body with metadata might lead to data spillovers among rivals.

The industry stakeholders understand that it is vital to ascertain the economic and societal advantages, especially if sharing non-personal data is compulsory. A pilot in selected sectors will help demonstrate the implementation challenges and better evaluate value creation, distribution, and accretion.

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