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IAMAI and ICA term TRAI recommendations on data privacy ‘illegal’


The telecom regulator body, TRAI, recommendations on data privacy have come under heavy criticism from industry bodies such as IAMAI and ICA over its jurisdiction and timing.

The recommendations were illegal and similar to jumping gun ahead of the release of the Srikrishna committee report. The recommendations such as no use of metadata to identify individuals coupled with data minimisation will be detrimental to building the data business in the country said the bodies on recommendations released two days ago.

On Monday, TRAI released recommendations titled ‘Privacy, Security and Ownership of Data in the Telecom Sector’ and made applicable for apps, browsers, operating systems and handset makers.

The entities, controlling and processing such data, are mere custodians and do not have primary rights over this data. All entities in the digital ecosystem, which control or process the data, should be restrained from using Meta-data to identify the individual users, read the recommendation made by the Authority.


It also had recommendations for data apps as well as mobile devices.

Data Controllers should be prohibited from using “preticked boxes” to gain users consent. Clauses for data collection and purpose limitation should be incorporated in the agreements. Devices should disclose the terms and conditions of use in advance, before sale of the device, it added.

TRAI Chairman RS Sharma, in response to industry bodies, said that the regulatory body has the jurisdiction to protect consumer interest in the sector.

Trai’s recommendations have been sent to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) which has to take a final call on whether they will be adopted or not.

The recommendations will be applicable till the data protection law comes into force. These recommendations will impact many firms like Paytm, Apple and Facebook.

previously, former Supreme Court justice BN Srikrishna was expected to submit report on data protection framework. Later, information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the committee is still working on the report. The committee is now expected to submit its recommendations for a draft bill before the end of this month.

Meanwhile, experts in the industry somehow think that, with the Srikrishna panel already working on privacy norms, Trai’s recommendations will have little impact.

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