One of the Indian industry stalwarts, Mukesh Ambani, has come out in strong support of keeping Indian data on Indian shores and under the ownership of Indians, saying that “data colonization” is as bad as “physical colonization”, as he spoke at a summit on Thursday.
Mukesh Ambani expressed strongly that the data of individuals or businesses should not be “colonised” by corporates who then use it to monetize them, elaborating that “data colonisation” is as bad as “physical colonization”.
READ MORE: India Instructs WhatsApp to Set Up Local Data Storage Unit
Ambani said this while speaking at a summit in Mumbai on Thursday. According to Ambani, personal data of Indian people and business data of Indian corporates must be controlled and owned by Indians themselves.
This statement from Mukesh Ambani is in strong sync with the Indian government’s push for data storage and access localization efforts.
“Data is the new oil akin. It is the new wealth. India’s data must be controlled and owned by Indian people and not by global corporates”, he opined. “Data freedom is as precious as the freedom we won in 1947”.
READ MORE: Amazon India Sets Up Team for Local Data Storage
The Indian government has for quite some time been mulling a move to demand that all companies store all their data generated from within the country or from Indian nationals in data centres that are physically located in India. A draft-security law is being considered to this effect. The purview of this draft will also include data storage by e-commerce companies.
Ambani strongly argues against the prevalence of foreign companies operating in India, obtaining their data from India, making their money off Indian consumers’ data and then repatriating their earnings abroad.