People should have right on their data, not companies, says telecom regulator

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New Delhi,JUL 16:
Rules for protection of personal data in the telecom space are not sufficient, regulator Trai said on Friday while suggesting that consumers be given the right to choice, consent and to be forgotten to safeguard their privacy.
Recommending a series of measures of “privacy, security and ownership of data in telecom networks”, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India held that consumers are owners of their data and that entities controlling, processing their information are “mere custodians and do not have primary rights over this data”.
“The Right to Choice, Notice, Consent, Data Portability, and Right to be Forgotten should be conferred upon the telecommunication consumers,” Trai recommended to the Department of Telecom.
It said that in order to ensure sufficient choices to the users of digital services, granularities in the consent mechanism should be built-in by the service providers.
Trai has suggested that all entities in the digital ecosystem including telecom operators should transparently disclose the information about the privacy breaches on their websites along with the actions taken for mitigation, and preventing such breaches in future.
The recommendations from Trai come at a time when there are rising concerns around privacy and safety of user data, especially through mobile apps and social media platforms.
“The Government should put in place a mechanism for redressal of telecommunication consumers’ grievances relating to data ownership, protection, and privacy,” Trai said.

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