EU wants unrestricted cross-border data flow

The European Union is seeking unrestricted cross-border data flow between it and India, including allowing data storage in all 27 EU countries, under the ongoing free trade agreement. development by both parties.

However, India is working on a Data Protection Bill which will include guidelines on data protection and storage and cross-border flow of data.

The chapter on data flows and the protection of personal data in the preliminary draft text of the FTA indicates that the parties undertake to ensure cross-border data flows to facilitate trade in the digital economy. He said these cross-border flows will be unrestricted – and free from restrictions such as requiring data localization for storage or processing.

It also talks about recognizing the protection of personal data and privacy as a fundamental right and recognizing that high standards in this regard contribute to trust in the digital economy and the development of trade.

In India, the Personal Data Protection Bill 2021, which is currently being withdrawn, has pushed for data localization, requiring copies of sensitive personal data to be available in India and conditions being imposed on cross-border data transfers. Experts had argued that these rules would lead to additional costs and infrastructure for businesses.

The government on Wednesday withdrew the Personal Data Protection Bill 2021 and said it would soon be replaced by “a comprehensive legal framework”, which will be “designed to meet all contemporary and future challenges of the ecosystem digital”.

Aprita Mukherjee, Professor at ICRIER, said: “India is an IT and IT hub where we process sensitive data in sectors such as healthcare and finance for other countries and any policy can take this into account.”

The UK entered into a Data Adequacy Agreement with the EU post-Brexit, allowing personal data to flow freely from the EU and the wider European Economic Area (EEA) to the UK. As a result, businesses and organizations in the UK can continue to receive personal data from the EU and EEA without having to put in place additional agreements with their European counterparts, in accordance with the agreement, which at in turn supports trade, innovation, investment and assists the law. law enforcement tackle crime.

An expert told Mint on condition of anonymity that a data protection bill introduced in 2019 focused on personal data, but a report by a joint parliamentary committee sought to broaden its scope. application to also include non-personal data. “Keeping data in the country gives India more bargaining power because India is a huge market for data,” he said. “There are also concerns about the country’s cybersovereignty. Lawmakers fear data misuse.”

India and the EU concluded the first round of negotiations on Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreements (BTIAs), including Geographical Indicators (GIs), on July 1, after talks resumed in June after a nine-year hiatus.

The Indian team is led by chief negotiator Nidhi Mani Tripathi, co-secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, and the EU is represented by its chief negotiator, Christophe Kiener. The second round is scheduled for September in Brussels.

A Commerce Department spokesperson told Mint that “negotiations with the EU are ongoing and all areas of mutual interest are being discussed. It would be inappropriate to speculate at this stage.”

An EU official told Mint in an email response: “The EU aims to negotiate ambitious and comprehensive trade agreements on the model of the EU’s most recent trade agreements.

“These include meaningful market access for goods, services and public procurement, as well as ambitious and binding provisions on intellectual property rights, digital trade, trade and sustainable development.”

Beer, wine, feta and gouda cheese, luxury cars, fishing and agricultural products are among the main areas of interest for the EU. India’s demands include better access to the EU market for its skilled professionals.

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