The lower house of India’s parliament voted in approval of a bill that would ease data compliance regulations for Big Tech companies on Aug. 7, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2023 would ease storage, processing and transfer standards for major global tech companies like Google, Meta and Microsoft, as well as local firms seeking international expansion.
The legislation allows companies to export data sourced from India, except to countries prohibited by the government.
As it currently stands, the bill requires government consent prior to Big Tech companies collecting personal data. It also prevents them from selling it for reasons not listed in the contract, meaning no anonymization of personal data for use in artificial intelligence (AI) training, for example.
These updates to the bill would reduce compliance requirements for companies, though it has to pass through the upper parliamentary house.
India is the world’s most populous country, with billions of internet users, which makes it a key market for growth.
Concerns over data misuse in the emerging tech industry, particularly from Big Tech companies, have been a growing priority for regulators across the globe.
The rapid emergence of AI as an accessible tool for the general public has caused major concerns among regulators regarding the way these products collect and utilize user data.
India is also reportedly collaborating with the administration of United States President Joe Biden to create an international framework for AI.
One recent major development in the emerging tech scene that has caused concerns over data collection is the launch of the decentralized digital identity verification protocol Worldcoin.
So far, the project has launched 1,500 of its iris-scanning Orbs in countries all around the world. India is home to two Orbs in the northern city of Delhi and the southern city of Bangalore, according to Worldcoin.