RBI to examine concerns over data localisation rule: Centre

New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will examine concerns around its strict data localisation rules that require storing of customer data exclusively in India without creating mirror sites overseas, the government said.

The RBI in April last year asked payment firms to ensure their data are stored exclusively on local servers, setting a tight six-month deadline for compliance. That deadline was said to have been missed by some foreign firms including credit card giants Visa and Mastercard.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday held extensive consultations with the tech industry and e-commerce companies, a statement by his ministry said. The RBI in April 2018 put out a circular requiring that all "data relating to payment systems" are "stored in a system only in India" within six months.

International giants usually store data on global servers and the requirement to store data locally would require them to make an additional investment. But policymakers in India believe storing data locally would help monitor and conduct investigations if the need arises.

Besides the RBI rule, concern was also expressed at the meeting about a draft e-commerce policy that requires exclusive local storage and processing of data generated by users in India from various sources including e-commerce platforms, social media and search engines.

While domestic companies such as Reliance Jio have spoken up in support the government's data localisation efforts, others like Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Mastercard have led the way in opposing it.

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