IRCTC Floats Tender to Appoint Specialist to Monetise Electronic Info, Digital Liberties Group Flags Risks

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Company (IRCTC) has floated a tender searching for to monetise electronic data of the Indian Railways and the IRCTC. The latter is seeking to appoint a specialist for ‘digital knowledge monetisation’. The tender, which seeks to utilise the details from passenger, freight, and parcel trains, was noticed by digital liberties organisation Internet Flexibility Foundation (IFF) on Friday. It is value noting that India now does not have a data safety legislation to regulate the use of citizens’ personalized details.

According to the e-tender doc (archived version) uploaded on the IRCTC website, titled ‘Consultancy for Electronic Data Monetization’, the general public sector undertaking is looking to appoint a consulting agency for the task, in order to make up to Rs. 1,000 crore in earnings. The deadline for tender offers is August 29, and the IRCTC has established the earnest funds deposit (EMD) at Rs. 2 lakh, according to the document.

The IRCTC states that it is “a reservoir of big amount of money of electronic data which opens several prospects for IRCTC for monetization” and that it wishes to “leverage its facts belongings and sector posture to travel strong development in revenues”. The consulting business will be predicted to analyze IRCTC details including facts from the railway’s passenger, freight, parcel, catering, tourism, and other functions.

The data that IRCTC has shown out in the tender (webpage 11) features consumer data captured from the Indian Railways, which consists of “basic data” these as their title, age, cellular quantity, gender, deal with, email addresses, as very well as their class of journey, payment manner, and login info — including their username and password.

According to the IRCTC’s tender, the specialist will be predicted to aggregate the information captured, segregate the information, and “identify sector possible internationally” for precise info sets. They have to also set up methods and protocols for prolonged-expression monetisation of the electronic info of the Indian Railways, and “handhold” the monetisation approach.

In buy to propose small business types for monetisation of data, the tender states that the consulting business ought to study legislation associated to data know-how, such as the IT Act, 2000 and its amendments, as properly as data privateness legal guidelines this kind of as the Common Knowledge Safety Regulation (GDPR) and the “current Personalized Knowledge Protection Bill 2018 of India”. Having said that, as the IFF points out, Private Information Safety Bill was withdrawn by the governing administration on August 3.

The electronic liberties organisation has highlighted the risks of monetising purchaser facts, stating that a revenue maximisation intention could result in amplified facts assortment, which would be in violation of the concepts of knowledge minimisation and reason limitation. Meanwhile, the monetisation would consider position in the absence of a own data security legislation. “Past experiences from the misuse of [the] Vahan databases amplify fears of mass surveillance & protection risks,” the IFF mentioned in a tweet.

Gadgets 360 has arrived at out to the Indian Railways for comment and will update this posting when a response is obtained.

On August 3, the govt withdrew the Personal Facts Defense Bill, 2021, announcing that it was functioning on a new complete regulation. The bill experienced proposed regulation of transmission of facts across borders, when empowering the government to search for details from companies. At the time, Union Minister of Electronics & Information and facts Technologies Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the governing administration was hopeful of having new laws handed by the Funds session of parliament.


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