The US wants India to ensure that its data localisation plan treats American companies fairly, allowing them to compete. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin added that India should ensure its plan to have data on local servers should not “stymie growth.”
Data localisation essentially means having data pertaining to financial transactions stored in servers located within the country. American firms Google, Mastercard, Visa and Amazon have lobbied against data localisation globally, maintaining that it will lead to higher cost of operations.
In April last year, the Indian banking regulator Reserve Bank of India (RBI) asked payment service providers to make sure that they store data exclusively on local servers. The RBI then issued providers with a six-month deadline to comply with the directive.
Data localisation is one of the issues on which the fate of India-US trade hangs.
Following the withdrawal of India from the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the nation has been holding trade negotiations with the US.
Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal met his US counterpart Robert Lighthizer in November to finalise a trade deal. A US delegation visited India after Goyal’s visit for talks. The negotiations are currently ongoing.
The Personal Data Protection Bill will have the framework for handling and processing personal data by public and private entities.