IRCTC Floats Tender to Appoint Guide to Monetise Electronic Information, Digital Liberties Group Flags Threats

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The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has floated a tender seeking to monetise electronic data of the Indian Railways and the IRCTC. The latter is hunting to appoint a marketing consultant for ‘digital information monetisation’. The tender, which seeks to utilise the facts from passenger, freight, and parcel trains, was spotted by electronic liberties organisation Net Independence Foundation (IFF) on Friday. It is well worth noting that India now does not have a information defense legislation to regulate the use of citizens’ private information.

In accordance to the e-tender doc (archived version) uploaded on the IRCTC internet site, titled ‘Consultancy for Digital Facts Monetization’, the community sector undertaking is looking to appoint a consulting organization for the challenge, in buy to produce up to Rs. 1,000 crore in profits. The deadline for tender offers is August 29, and the IRCTC has set the earnest funds deposit (EMD) at Rs. 2 lakh, in accordance to the doc.

The IRCTC states that it is “a reservoir of enormous volume of digital information which opens a number of opportunities for IRCTC for monetization” and that it wishes to “leverage its knowledge belongings and industry position to travel robust development in revenues”. The consulting agency will be predicted to research IRCTC info together with knowledge from the railway’s passenger, freight, parcel, catering, tourism, and other operations.

The details that IRCTC has mentioned out in the tender (site 11) features shopper information captured from the Indian Railways, which involves “basic data” this kind of as their title, age, cell quantity, gender, tackle, e-mail addresses, as properly as their class of journey, payment method, and login information and facts — such as their username and password.

According to the IRCTC’s tender, the advisor will be anticipated to combination the data captured, segregate the knowledge, and “identify industry potential internationally” for distinct info sets. They should also set up techniques and protocols for very long-phrase monetisation of the electronic info of the Indian Railways, and “handhold” the monetisation system.

In purchase to propose enterprise models for monetisation of facts, the tender states that the consulting firm must review legislation similar to info technological know-how, such as the IT Act, 2000 and its amendments, as very well as information privacy laws such as the Basic Details Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the “current Individual Data Protection Invoice 2018 of India”. However, as the IFF details out, Individual Details Security Invoice was withdrawn by the federal government on August 3.

The digital liberties organisation has highlighted the dangers of monetising buyer info, stating that a financial gain maximisation intention could consequence in elevated knowledge collection, which would be in violation of the principles of info minimisation and function limitation. In the meantime, the monetisation would take place in the absence of a particular knowledge protection law. “Past activities from the misuse of [the] Vahan database amplify fears of mass surveillance & stability pitfalls,” the IFF stated in a tweet.

Gizmos 360 has arrived at out to the Indian Railways for remark and will update this post when a response is obtained.

On August 3, the authorities withdrew the Individual Knowledge Defense Invoice, 2021, saying that it was performing on a new thorough regulation. The monthly bill had proposed regulation of transmission of knowledge throughout borders, although empowering the federal government to seek information from organizations. At the time, Union Minister of Electronics & Info Technologies Ashwini Vaishnaw explained that the govt was hopeful of obtaining new legislation handed by the Budget session of parliament.


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