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DPIIT to hold talks on data storage rules in draft e-commerce policy 

Amidst demand from foreign e-commerce companies to reconsider rules regarding data storage, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is scheduled to meet representatives from Information Technology and e-commerce sectors on January 14, to discuss the merits and de-merits of draft e-commerce policy on data storage.

The meeting is likely to see the representatives from different companies including Facebook, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Accenture, Adobe Genpact and local IT companies such as HCL, Infosys and TCS participating in the deliberations, sources said.

In addition, officials from Nasscom, E-commerce Council of India, Informational Technology Industry Council, Confederation of Indian Industry and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry would also attend the meeting, the government sources added.

The meeting will be chaired by an additional secretary-level officer of the DPIIT.

The Central government, in February last year, released a draft national e-commerce policy, proposing to set up a legal and technological framework for restrictions on cross-border data flow and also laid out conditions for businesses regarding collection or processing of sensitive data locally and storing it abroad.

As the draft policy includes several provisions related to data, the department is also looking at the Personal Data Protection Bill approved by the Cabinet last month. This Bill spells out a framework for handling of personal data, including its processing by public and private entities. A company may have to pay a penalty if found violating norms under the Personal Data Protection Bill being mooted.

Meeting to set straight concerns

Several foreign e-commerce firms have raised concerns over certain points in the draft pertaining to data. The DPIITís meeting with stakeholders assumes significance in this context, especially with the ministry likely to release the national e-commerce policy by the end of this financial year.