To keep up with tech and regulate WhatsApp & Amazon, India must adopt ‘futures thinking’

Authors: Harsh Vardhan Pachisia and Prakhar Misra

This is the first in an IDFC Institute-ThePrint partnership series, part of the Data Governance Network’s work on data governance policies and infrastructure in India. Published on January 23, 2020 The views are of the individual authors.

In India, regulatory thinking on technology has traditionally relied on informed guesses, projections and scenario planning. This is where ‘futures thinking’ can come in and change how such policies are made.

Technology is a difficult beast to tame. Putting guardrails on its evolution is nearly impossible due to the pace of technological development and the difficulties in identifying future effects. If the Narendra Modi government is to anticipate technological advances and policy — or even keep pace with them — the proposed Data Protection Authority (DPA) must think through the direct, indirect and induced effects of technology before introducing new standards and policies.

With the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill, 2019, only outlining broad principles governing data, the role of the DPA becomes excruciatingly important. The authority must be forward-looking and anticipatory rather than being reactive in nature.

Read the full article here.