General Studies Contemporary Issues 04: Regulating technologies and technology-led businesses is not an easy task. In India, regulation of technology is characterised by informed guesses, often reactive and piecemeal policies, that are introduced in a huff.
Challenges of Regulating New technologies
- What we need is a future thinking so that we have an effective policy in place to regulate the difficult beast, i.e. new technologies.
- Its evolution can’t be stopped by any Government policy or intervention.
- It is extremely difficult to envisage how technology will behave in future.
- Its future effects are impossible to be identified.
The Government wants to regulate WhatsApp and Amazon. But these companies use technologies which evolve rapidly. Thanks to changing nature of technologies, even their business models change into something else before any Government decides to regulate them.
General Studies Contemporary Issues (04): Prelims Cum Mains Info
Data Protection Bill
- India’s proposed Data Protection Bill should take into account the direct and indirect effects of new technologies and introduce necessary changes.
- The bill has proposed a Data Protection Authority (DPA).
- The DPA has outlined only broad principles for governing data generated by government and private players.
- The proposed Data Protection Authority (DPA) is going to play an important role.
Why India Needs to have a Forward-looking Policy
- Instead of being reactive in nature, the DPA should adopt a forward-looking approach so that it could anticipate the impact of new technologies.
- Values and the Fourth Industrial Revolution Connecting the Dots Between Value, Values, Profit and Purpose, a whitepaper released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2016 noted, “relying only on government legislation and incentives to ensure the right outcomes [for regulating the fourth Industrial Revolution] is ill advised. These are likely to be out of date or redundant by the time they are implemented”.
- India should put in place a future thinking policy for technology.
- India’s digital consumer base is the second largest of the world, next only to China.
- Nearly 1.2 billion people use mobile phone in India with 560 million internet subscriptions.
- More than 207 million Indians went online between 2013-2017.
- Innovation and adoption are moving at a fast place.
- Technologies will always be in ever-changing mode.
- The proposed DPA should factor in ever-increasing application of AI and multifarious developments of technologies before framing any policy.
- India has adopted a forward-looking policy to regulate digital infrastructure. United Payments Interface and the Data Empowerment and Protection Architecture are some of the excellent examples of how a good policy can benefit India.
- Similar policies should be adopted in regulating artificial intelligence and digital competition and other future technologies in India.