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Indian companies share best practices ahead of the data protection law

Mozilla hosts a round-table focused on “lean data practices”

In its first Indian edition of the ‘Privacy Matters’ roundtable, Mozilla brought together the brightest minds from India’s leading and upcoming online businesses to discuss practical issues surrounding data privacy. Held recently in New Delhi, the aim of the session was to drive the conversation on how businesses can make decisions about personal data more thoughtfully. This closed-door intensive meeting saw participation from a variety of companies – ranging from SMEs to large conglomerates, including Aditya Birla Group, Dunzo, Ibibo, Practo, Ola, Zeotap, Zomato, among others.

The 5-hour long session was conducted using Mozilla’s Lean Data Practices framework that puts forth privacy principles and practical steps to implement them. With a mix of engineering, C-level, product and legal folks driving the discussions, the workshop focussed on the incentives for companies to stay “lean”, and minimize the personal data they collect and store; ways to build-in security features; and finally, effective ways to communicate with users and offer them more meaningful choices vis-à-vis their data.

Urmika Shah, lead product and data counsel at Mozilla, Mountain View, led the discussion and shared, “It was great to see that many of the larger Indian SMEs have taken proactive measures to build in privacy and security features into their services, even prior to the enactment of India’ data protection law.  For some, the incentive seems to come from the possibility of security breaches and reputational risks, and for others it’s their global presence or foreign investors.”

The discussions were divided into three segments as per the framework, covering key topics: “Engage users”, “Stay Lean” and “Build-in Security”.The first segment of the discussions focussed on how companies can better engage different audiences (such as end users, business clients, employees and investors) on issues of privacy. The second section was on the importance of staying “lean” with data rather than collecting, storing, and sharing indiscriminately. The third section covered key security features that could be built-in to the services.

Amba Kak, Mozilla’s public policy advisor in India said, “In the lead up to India’s first data protection law, we need more such conversations that focus on implementing these principles, and how to overcome practical challenges.”, she concluded.

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