Carnegie India, in partnership with ThePrint, curated a series of 12 op-eds that examined various aspects of The Future of Data, ranging from data localization and digital payments to genomic data and data-globalization, among others. Building on this body of research, we further explored these themes at the Global Technology Summit in Bengaluru from December 4 to 6, 2019.

Lost in the data localization debate: Does India have full power to exploit its own data

Anirudh Burman

The Narendra Modi government wants to reportedly water down the provisions related to data localization proposed in the draft Personal Data Protection Bill 2018 formulated by the Justice Srikrishna Committee. The debate on the free-flow and storage of data has assumed significance in the wake of technological developments – such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) – that can harness data to provide better and cheaper services to consumers. The debate on data localization is now not only a political one, but also a geopolitical one, and a key aspect of trade talks between India and other countries like the US.

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Indian govt’s regulation policy for drones covered everything but privacy

Ananth Padmanabhan

Regulation scholarship has devoted considerable attention to the choice between rule-based and outcome-based regulation with no clear resolution in sight. When it comes to emerging technologies, this debate becomes even more complex because of the indeterminate nature of consequences at an early stage. Even if we were to promote outcome-based regulation, what outcomes are we talking about? Similarly, will rules promote or hinder positive values like innovation and experimentation?

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You can’t coerce India to adopt digital payments. Here’s what Modi govt should try instead

Suyash Rai

For years, the Narendra Modi government has made the promotion of digital payments a priority. In its latest move, the government last month amended the Income Tax Act, 1961 and the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 doing away with the merchant discount rate – charges levied on digital payments. So far, the Modi government’s strategy to promote electronic payments has been a mix of coercion, persuasion, and incentives. This latest move is mostly coercive.

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In Asia, Disruptive Technonationalism Returns

Evan A. Feigenbaum

In a pointed speech on October 24, US Vice President Mike Pence warned that Beijing has “smashed the barriers between civilian and military technological domains.” Pence then offered this flatly contradictory statement of policy: “People sometimes ask whether the Trump Administration seeks to ‘de-couple’ from China. The answer is a resounding ‘no.’”

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If Ebola, Zika and Nipah can cross borders, so can technology. That’s where solution lies

Gagandeep Kang

Infectious disease epidemics and pandemics have the potential to affect people, anywhere, and at any time. With increasing connectivity through international travel, intercontinental trade and livestock husbandry, as well as rising human population density, particularly in urban areas and changing interactions between humans and wild animals in more remote areas, the risk of contracting infectious diseases is amplifying day by day.

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As battlefields become digital, democracies like India face the test of transparency

Rakesh Sood

Technology has shaped warfare throughout history. Whether it is the steam engine or railways, electricity or aviation, each in its own way has changed human society as well as the nature of war. These were transformative innovations, not undertaken with a military objective.

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For the first time, India has a genome database. But are we ready to use it?

Shruti Sharma

For the first time ever, we have a gene database just for Indians. The IndiGen Genome Project, launched in April this year, is a government-funded exercise that sequenced more than a thousand individuals from diverse ethnicities to create a genome database for India.

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Indian govt’s approach to facial recognition is flawed & driven by faulty assumptions

Vidushi Marda

Police in Chennai relies on facial recognition technology to help maintain law and order in crowded areas of the city. Similarly, Punjab Artificial Intelligence System, a recipient of a FICCI smart policing award, uses facial recognition for criminal identification. Police in Hyderabad too is using facial recognition to identify ‘persons of interest’ using CCTV footage.

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Why more smart phones and bank accounts haven’t brought financial inclusion in India

Malavika Raghavan

Technology and finance have been old bedfellows. The financial sector in India has been a gung-ho adopter of technology, using it to improve interactions between financial institutions and consumers.

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Smart city technologies can tackle India’s urban explosion. But key questions must be asked

R.K. Misra and Arjun Kang Joseph

It is projected that two out of every three people in the world will live in cities by 2050. With its current trend of urbanization, India is likely to have more than 60 cities with populations exceeding one million and six megacities with populations of 10 million or more by 2030.

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Indian case studies talk about AI application but fall short of discussing responsible AI

Tarunima Prabhakar

There has been a slew of newer sector-specific strategy documents in India that have discussed the role of artificial intelligence as a disruptive technological force in the future. But these strategy documents mentioning AI need to do more to highlight its implications for access to services in a particular sector.

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The era of data-globalism is over. Where does this leave India?

Rudra Chaudhuri

The era of data-globalism is over. The absolute free flow of data across borders and national jurisdictions is no longer viable. Whether for reasons of security or economics, the slow slide towards collective protectionism in the United States and Europe is unmistakable. In China, it is absolute. Where then does this leave India, a country that opened its doors and its oversized data market to the rest of the world, including Chinese firms and investors, but who’s leaders and technology champions are more than aggrieved?

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