This artice was first published in the Financial Express on 18th November, 2021. The views are of the individual authors.

The government’s approach to data regulation needs an overhaul. Future legislation—including the Data Protection Bill—needs to account for not only concerns regarding data privacy but the benefits of open data too. The collection and sharing of data, with the necessary privacy protection protocols in place, holds immense societal and economic value—worth 172.30 billion euros across the EU27 in 2019. While these benefits have been universally acknowledged, efforts to improve open data in India have been stymied for two key reasons. First, officials are yet to see the value public data generates beyond reducing corruption and enhancing transparency. Second, there has been too much focus on privacy in policy debate, leading to a more cautious approach to data-sharing efforts. To overcome these, the state must institutionalise its role of generator and disseminator, and the policy debate must consider privacy alongside open data’s potential benefits. Read the entire article here.