As citizens access most of their data through their mobile phones, the telecom department may be entrusted with these responsibilities
Data privacy, security, cybercrime and related issues, currently under the purview of the IT ministry, may soon be overseen by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Telecom Commission (TC), sources told The Economic Times.
As citizens access most of their data through their mobile phones, the telecom department may be entrusted with these responsibilities. These changes will be brought about by an amendment in the existing laws.
A senior government official, on the condition of anonymity, said that data privacy and security all fall under the ambit the telecom network, adding that 93 percent of all such data is consumed on these telecom networks, like e-commerce.
He also said that aspects of data privacy should all come under one ambit, and that should be the Digital Commission and the Digital Communications Regulator. Recently, the TC was renamed to the Digital Communications Commission (DCC) and TRAI to Digital Communications Regulatory Authority of India (DCRAI).
An official told the paper that “The jurisdiction of the TC will increase keeping cybercrime in mind. It is still in the planning stage but talks are on to ensure that all the work that is done by DoT in dealing with data safety is put forward,” he added.
At present, the telecom secretary heads the TC, which is an inter-ministerial body and also the highest decision-making authority in the telecom department.
Members from the field of finance, production, services and technology will be a part of the new commission. The CEO of government think tank NITI Aayog, secretaries of Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion will be part-time members.
The government formed an inter-ministerial team to examine how aspects of data privacy and security can be moved under telecom, according to a DoT official. This team comprises of members of MeitY and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.The draft of the data protection bill submitted by the BN Srikrishna Committee may be tabled in the Parliament by December after deliberations by the government.