A number of companies are evaluating the prospect of establishing data centres in Telangana in the backdrop of the upcoming data protection legislation of the Centre and the emphasis on data localisation.
“There are at least 3-4 players who are talking to us, seeking support and looking at land and other government infrastructure support to create their large data centres here,” Telangana Industries and IT Secretary Jayesh Ranjan told the International Privacy Forum conference at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad on Thursday.
The senior official, who said there was “very serious investor interest in creating data centres here”, mentioned the companies’ plans while pointing out that the Bill is slated to be introduced in the ongoing Budget session of the Parliament.
Seeking to underscore the significance of having a law on data protection, something Europe and China had initiated without much impact to the economy, Mr. Ranjan said: “We should be realistic and pragmatic, [as] certain people feel that this kind of thing is completely unnecessary. But if you look at the events which have happened in the recent past in India, the growing public opinion, sentiment is towards these kind of regulations.” For example, he cited the adverse impact arising from the case of fake news.
Learn from experience
“If we are having that kind of feeling that such a Bill should not come, then we are living in a fool’s paradise. The law is bound to come… but at the same time we also need to learn from international experience,” he said, urging the participants to look at the various aspects and come up with recommendations.
The senior official also sought to explain that if the data localisation laws are made stringent “it will give rise to a movement towards creating more and more data centres. And that is something which we are seeing in the last few months in Hyderabad.”
The International Privacy Forum, in its second edition, was organised by the U.S.-India Business Council in association with Telangana government and U.S. Consulate General in Hyderabad. The Forum provides a platform for international policy makers and regulators to discuss privacy regulations, a release from the organisers said.
Addressing the gathering, US Consul General Katherine Hadda said data flows account for $2.8 trillion of global GDP. The need is for greater transparency on how data is transferred internationally and the greater inter-operability between regulatory institutions. “However, regulation tends to focus too much on applying local standards to personal data that is transferred outside of national borders. The focus should be on “sophisticated legal and technologically requirements with data protection and articulating them clearly rather than relying upon localisation as a policy remedy for security.”