RBI deputy governor pitches for data law to protect customers’ privacy


Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor T Rabi Sankar on Monday pressed for a law to protect customers’ privacy to ensure that monetisation of customer data is done in a responsible manner.

Last month, the government withdrew the Personal Data Protection Bill from the Lok Sabha and IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had said the Centre was hopeful of getting a new legislation passed by the next Budget Session of Parliament.

Budget Session usually starts by end of January.

Speaking at a seminar organised by economic think-tank NCAER, Sankar said India is extemely data rich as digitalisation is growing a rapid pace.

“Data means money. Data can be monetised. Therefore, data is significant value to business but at the same time, we will have to have regulations in place, primarily have laws in place, followed by regulations in place, which ensures that customer data is not only safe, that customers privacy is not only protected but the monetisation of customer data is done in a responsible manner,” he said.

Further, he said that monetisation of data should be done with “some level” of consent.

The now withdrawn Personal Data Protection Bill had proposed restrictions on the use of personal data without the explicit consent of citizens. Among others, it had mooted setting up of a Data Protection Authority.