On 9 August 2017, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (“TRAI”) released a Consultation Paper. The TRAI realised that while the rapid evolution of telecommunication services in India had resulted in better connectivity and the emergence of new business models, it had been accompanied with a great leap in the quantum and value of data being generated as a result of the usage of modern communication services. This, in turn, has brought questions of data protection and privacy into the limelight. The TRAI is concerned whether consumers/users are empowered to own and control their own data, including how the other players in the eco-system (such as the telecom service providers) use the same. In pursuance of this, the TRAI has asked the following pertinent questions via this Consultation Paper:
- What is the full scope of the personal data, and its current ownership and control under telecom services?
- What are the current measures being undertaken by telecom service providers to to efficiently and adequately protect the data of their users?
- What are the key issues existing in the above framework, and what steps can TSPs take to mitigate the same so that they fulfil their responsibilities of data security and protection?
Stakeholders can provide their comments on the above Consultation Paper till September 8, 2017.