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Data Sovereignty and India

Data sovereignty is on the rise across the world. Laws and regulations increasingly require that citizen data be stored in local data centers, and restrict the flow of that data across the internet. The European Union’s GDPR policy is one example, although it’s relatively porous. China’s relatively new cloud computing law is much more strict, and forced Apple to turn over iCloud data of Chinese users.  Now, it appears that India will join this policy movement.

According to sources at Reuters, an influential cloud policy panel has recommended that India mandate data localization in the country in the name of security.  That panel is headed by well-known local entrepreneur Kris Gopalakrishnan, who founded Infosys, the IT staffing giant in the region and quite honestly the bane of IT professionals across the world.

That report would match other policy statements from the Indian political establishment in recent months. The government’s draft National Digital Communications Policy this year said that data sovereignty is very important to the Indian Government.

The report called for the government by 2022 to “Establish a comprehensive data protection regime for digital communications that safeguards the privacy, autonomy and choice of individuals and facilitates India’s effective participation in the global digital economy.”

It’s that last line that is increasingly the objective of governments around the world. While privacy and security are certainly top priorities, governments now recognize that the economics of data are going to be crucial for future innovation.  Maintaining local control of data through whatever means necessary ensures that cloud providers and other services have to spend locally and thus reverses or at least attempts to correct the unintended fallout of globalization and bad deals.

Works Cited

Crichton, D. (2018, August 04). India may become next restricted market for U.S. cloud providers. Retrieved August 20, 2018, from




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