Why all tech companies from Amazon to Google have to offer access to non-personal data

The government is considering making it compulsory for all the companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook to sell off their public or non-personal data. The data which will be inclusive of the government and public officials gathered from any of the countries.

Recently the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) is taking into account for issuing guidelines under the Information Technology Act. According to the guidelines, it will be mandatory for the companies and other agencies to share the information they gather while purchasing, traffics and different illness patterns.A final decision will be taken after an ‘exhaustive’ discussion process clarified a senior official.

From the probable change in the view by MeitY has reflected that companies or government archives should store and monetise the public data.

Another official added that one has to be aware of “Giant tech companies are obviously the first ones to enlighten the idea and started working on it such as in cynical medicines, and they must receive a fee for sharing it”.

The objective of the new guidelines is also to ensure competition in space and universal access to the database filled with public records said the official.

Currently, while setting up an account on Google, it asks for permission from the user, but no alternative is offered otherwise. “We want to change is data imbalance to establish healthy environment. But now, the ball is in winner’s court,” the official said.

According to the latest report by UNCTAD on the digital economy says that two-thirds of the total data market by value is conquered by the ‘Super Seven’ companies namely Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and China’s Alibaba and Tencent.

At present Facebook is the top social media sphere in more than 90% of the world’s economies and holds two-thirds of the global social media market. Even Google has 90% of the market for searches made on the internet. Amazon acquires almost 40% of the world’s online retail share as well as for Amazon web services and cloud services, according to the report.

And other countries like India is dealing with how to break the value data chain established by the massive tech companies and wonders if they would share their data with them.

Therefore India should collaborate with partners like the EU and Japan to determine the same problem of data imbalance together, said Apar Gupta, an executive director at Internet Freedom Foundation.

Giant tech companies must be restrained from using the public data, but discussions are in the process like IP in medicines,” said the official.

Talks on public data have gained momentum in few days along with the top government officials and stakeholders prioritising it. MeitY has recently started sending a questionnaire to some selected experts. A set of questions on how to treat public data, and it should be part of the proposed Privacy Data Protection Bill or not.

Several ministries are already in unison about both public data guidelines. But, the private data legislation should be considered together and wait for it to convert into law,” said the second official. 

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