Unlocking The Potential Of India's Data Economy: Practices, Privacy and Governance

India is experiencing a 'personal data' revolution. With the proliferation of digital services, people in India are generating a significant quantum of personal data. This data is being used by a wide variety of enterprises to deliver value to their users and improve their business operations. Internet traffic in India is expected to increase four-fold from 21 exabytes in 2016 (1 exabyte = 1 million terabytes) to an estimated 78 exabytes in 2021.  

The current significant growth in personal data is projected to continue driven by four major consumer forces - rising smartphone penetration, rapid growth in e-commerce, increasing social media penetration, and the emergence of ubiquitous/IoT devices. Technological advancements in data collection, processing, and storage, coupled with government digitisation initiatives, are also fuelling the data revolution in enterprises.

Personal data is quite valuable, and will continue to be collected, stored, handled, and processed at a large scale. However, the ever-growing collection and usage of personal data is posing significant risks to individuals and enterprises. In particular, it can lead to the loss of an individual's privacy, financial losses (in case of breaches), and discrimination, marginalisation, or the exclusion of individuals and groups.

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