US criticises India’s data localisation norms

New Delhi: The US has criticised India’s data localisation norms and draft e-commerce policy terming certain proposals as “most discriminatory and trade-distortive”. “India has recently promulgated a number of data localisation requirements that would serve as significant barriers to digital trade between the US and India,” the US Trade Representative’s 2019 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers said. It said these requirements raise costs for suppliers of data-intensive services by forcing the construction of unnecessary, redundant data centres and prevent local firms from taking advantage of the best global services available.

The report also said the proposals of India’s draft national e-commerce policy such as data localisation requirements and restrictions on cross-border data flows are “discriminatory in nature”. “India is currently developing a new electronic commerce policy, early drafts of which have contemplated broad-based data localisation requirements and restrictions on cross-border data flows, expanded grounds for forced transfer of intellectual property and proprietary source code, preferential treatment for domestic digital products, and other discriminatory policies.

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