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Hello Friends,

See-Khiang Koh, my counterpart in Singapore, ended his note last week with an intriguing thought: Would humans soon live off their data? Could commercial utilization of data for a “legitimate and authorized purpose” be a source of income that can move developing nations towards poverty alleviation? Or will our strong emphasis on “privacy is not a tradeable right” dominate the rules of the data economy? The next few years will be very crucial for establishing those rules to govern our data ecosystem.

This year’s CPDP conference in Brussels, Belgium, was themed around data protection and democracy. It included a panel on “Asian data protection approaches and convergence” and featured eminent speakers from India, Singapore, South Korea, and Indonesia, who talked about the evolving regulatory regime in Asia and efforts for global convergence. The IAPP also supported a panel that was moderated by Future of Privacy Forum’s Jules Polonetsky along with Helen Dixon, the Irish data protection authority, and the European Commission’s Bruno Gencarelli. The panel discussed data protection in democracy, as well as the hits and misses of the EU General Data Protection Regulation. Harvard Professor Shoshana Zuboff, who recently published her new book “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” described how the shift from industrialization to “informatisation” has given new dimensions to capitalism.

From here in India, the Personal Data Protection Bill is expected to be tabled in an ongoing budget session of Parliament as per media reports. Plus the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has released comments received on its draft Intermediary Guidelines – the dates to file counter comments is 14 Feb. Tracing the origin of messages and the requirement for setting up local offices for organizations serving more than 50 lakh (5 million) Indian users is hotly being debated.

Facebook’s announcement to amalgamate data under its various platforms like Instagram and Whatsapp has met with resistance. The German Competition Regulator disapproves of such attempt, while Facebook cries foul that it is being singled out.

The IAPP also launched its Pune Chapter today, bringing the total KnowledgeNet chapters in India to six, including New Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai. The Pune meeting was attended by 40 privacy pros from different stakeholder groups and included discussions on contemporary topics. Other cities too held chapter meetings around Data Privacy Day, with interesting themes and content being generated and shared by the community.

Thank you and have a lovely day!

Best,
Rahul

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