Leave data processing guidelines to Indian authority: TECI

Guidelines for protecting and processing user-data managed by online marketplaces should be left to the proposed data protection authority, The E-Commerce Council of India (TECI) recently recommended. Commercial enterprises should be allowed to utilise non-personal data generated from users, TECI, whose members include Snapdeal, ShopClues and Fynd, said.

In its recommendations on the draft National E-commerce Policy, TECI argued that due consideration must be given to the idea that data is not a naturally occurring resource, and an individual does not have an absolute claim over the data he/she generates on a technology platform.

The data protection authority is expected to be constituted after the proposed Personal Data Protection (PDP) Bill 2018 is enacted, TECI said in a statement.

TECI also includes UrbanClap and Flyrobe, social commerce platform Shop101, and brands like Bewakoof, Breya and Rustorange. TECI members account for over 7.5 lakh online sellers and service providers.

"While, e-commerce entities continue to act as an effective partner in the enforcement of law, it is of utmost importance that protection under intermediary liability under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act continue without any dilution for e-commerce entities with regard to the legal obligations pertaining to sellers/brands," it added.

The association pointed out that the warrantees and guarantees are the responsibility of the seller, and these should not be shifted to the marketplaces that neither own nor sell the goods.

TECI advocated that e-commerce entities should be required to transparently disclose and display the terms of sale and customer rights to refund or replacement. Also, the marketplaces should have a clearly stated consumer grievance redressal process with resolution timelines to be specified by the marketplace.

TECI has also asked for incorporation and effective implementation of foreign direct investment (FDI) laws governing marketplaces in the national e-commerce policy.

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