Govt to rescind vehicles' Bulk Data Sharing Policy to protect privacy

The ministry shares complete data with specified agencies such as enforcement agencies.
To protect personal information and privacy, the government has decided to do away with the data sharing policy where organisations and researchers could buy bulk data pertaining to vehicle registrations on an annual basis, according to a document.

Under the Bulk Data Sharing Policy and Procedure, eligible bodies could purchase the data for Rs 3 crore from fiscal 2020-2021 and on conditions of strict security steps to prevent its theft or transfer.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways collects and holds data as part of issuance of Vehicle Registration Certificates (RC) and Driver Licence (DL).

It has been decided that the Bulk Data Sharing Policy and Procedure should be scrapped, as per minutes of a meeting of officials from Ministry of Road Transport and Highways with National Informatics Centre and others.

"It was decided that rather than sharing the bulk data with any company or organisation on the cost basis, reports generated on the basis of analysis of the vehicular data available in the National Register on the portal may be shared for use of citizens or stakeholders," the minutes of the meeting held recently said citing issues like privacy and potential misuse of data.

The government had come out with the 'Bulk Data Sharing Policy & Procedure' policy last year, saying it was to support the automobile industry.

The ministry shares complete data with specified agencies such as enforcement agencies.

The data is also shared with automobile industries, banks, finance companies etc at specified rates for each data set.

Violation of data, the policy warned, will result in action under the IT Act and other applicable laws besides debarring the agency from access to this data for a period of three years.

Under the policy, sharing of vehicle registration data in a "controlled manner, can support the transport and automobile industry".

"The sharing of data will also help in service improvements and wider benefits to citizens & Government," the policy had said.

The prime focus was on delivering simpler, better and safer services to citizens and sharing of data "will also benefit the country economy", the policy had said.

"There have been continuous advances in technology and the range of purposes for which individuals and organizations want access to the DL&RC data. There has been growing demand to share the data for wider benefits," it had said.

Under the policy, free access to the vehicle's basic data available to all the registered users through mParivahan App or through the web portal of the Ministry shall be restricted to the basic details regarding statutory compliances and the owner's name.

On the eligibility for accessing Bulk Data, it had said such organizations requesting for data should be registered in India with at least 50 per cent ownership by an Indian resident or an Indian company.

It had said all sensitive data should be in encrypted format while stored in disk and only to be decrypted while accessed through proper mechanism.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel