Over a year after it forced the dream of a digital economy in the minds of citizens, the Indian government is mulling ways to make online transactions more secure.

In a fresh development, a committee of legislators headed by the senior Congress Party leader, M Veerappa Moily, has urged the Modi government to introduce concrete laws related to data privacy as the country’s economy dashes forward to become a digital-first economy – if not an entirely cash-less regime.

The committee also upholds the idea of a central authority under the PM’s office to work on issues related to formulation and maintenance of the necessary infrastructure.

Indian Parliamentary Body Calls for Laws to Prevent Misuse of User Data
Courtesy: Wayne State University blog

The committee compiled its recommendations in a report titled “Transformation Towards A Digital Economy” which was presented in the parliament. The report takes note of the dearth of experienced and trained professionals to tackle the upswing in cyber attacks. It also suggests that India must instate new data protection laws to ensure that “global entities” like Facebook and Google are not able to hoard up and monopolize Indian users’ data.

The committee spoke in favour of the idea that India “now urgently needs a data minimisation, data privacy and data residency law to ensure security of public and private data“.

The committee also showed discomfort with the fact that although India is dashing towards a digitally-empowered economy, complaints of online and ATM frauds have increased multifold. It also proposed to establish an “empowered and responsive” helpline, where consumers can register pleas against companies which misuse their data.

In order to protect the average Indian user from falling prey and to keep security breaches like the recent Aadhaar data breach from ever happening, these steps are essential if India is to truly embrace a digital future.