US internet firms such as Google and social network Facebook dominate the country’s internet market. Both firms are also investing heavily in building rural India, making their platform the first choice of users to get the network effect — the more users these firms get, the better their platform network gets. These firms offer free services in exchange for data that help them target users with advertisements.
“A big part of public policy all over the world will be how we enforce a policy regime where data are portable, shared and yours. We do not have anything like that in India. So, we can think of a fresh policy that would be leapfrogging,” said Nilekani, the architect of Aadhaar, the country’s unique identity programme. “I am deeply concerned that data are going to create a new set of monopolists; it is going to create a whole new model of colonisation.”
Nilekani’s comments comes ahead of a crucial hearing by a nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, which will answer concerns on whether privacy in India is a fundamental human right and part of the basic structure of the Constitution. The court will hear a series of petitions that have argued that the Aadhaar programme, which mandates individuals share biometric details, is a violation of the citizen’s right to privacy.
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.